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Vaquformable Full Face PPE Mask

Posted by John Tan on

We are sharing this to help stop the spead of COVID-19

However, a disclaimer: This design is unproven. As such we offer no assurances that masks created according to this design protects against COVID infection. Use with caution.

Download the forming tool's STL file

Inspired by diving gear

Due to the shortage of PPEs, people have gotten creative. Full-face snorkeling masks have been a popular candidate for hacking. But even those are in short supply. So we went to work on something similar that can be vaquformed for rapid mass deployment.


The mask is made of two main components: a shroud that forms a perimeter seal around the face, and a clear screen. Together they fully enclose the eyes, nose and mouth of the wearer, while given a 160 degree field of view.


The design calls for two sheets of plastic.

  1. HIPS or ABS sheet, 1.0-1.5mm thick, for the shroud
  2. PETG, 0.5mm (or any optically clear plastic, such as PVC or acetate transparancies), for the screen

Other parts:

  1. Glue, sealant, or double-sided tape
  2. Thin gauge wire (such as paper clips)
  3. Elastic cord


  1. Vacuum forming machine
  2. 3D printer (to make the forming tool)
  3. Scissors, box cutter or hobby knife
  4. Long nosed pliers

Design Files

Construction steps

  1. 3D print the forming tool. Download the .zip file containing these two STLs.

    Forming tool STLs

    Print parameters

    • Layer height: 0.2mm
    • Wall thickness: ≥ 1.6mm or 4-perimeter outlines
    • Top thickess:  ≥ 1.6mm or 8 layers
    • Bottom thickness: 0 or 0 layers
    • Infill density: ≥ 30%
    • Infill pattern: Grid (not lines or rectilinear)
    • FIlament material: PLA or PETG


    After printing, assemble the parts as follows.

  2. Set the tool on the platen and load a 1mm sheet of ABS or HIPS on your Vaquform.
  3. Trim the formed sheet.

  4. Download and print out this template.
    Note: Do not scale; print 100%. 

  5. Refer to the printed template and make 4 wire loops. Then install according the animation below.
  6. Cut the holes for the air ports according the hose fittings you intend to use.
  7. Apply glue to the rim of the mask along the orange traces shown below.
  8. Referring again to the printed template, cut out the clear screen and install it to the shroud.

Vaquforming tips

Keep cool

Have a damp rag or spray bottle beside you when you're vacuum forming. At the end of a forming cycle mist or wipe down the formed sheet to cool it down rapidly. Do the same to the frame and platen.

Two sets of forming tools is better than one

You 3D printed tools will last longer if you cool it down to room temperature before using it again. Having a second, or even a third, set of tools allows you to do one pull after the other in quick succession. 

Demold fast

Layer lines and ringing any surface texture make it more difficult to demold. Use a medium grit sandpaper, 400 or so, to level out the surface texture.

Apply a mold release agent to the tool. Pay special attention to vertical surfaces. A thin coat of petroleum jelly every two or three pull is enough.

Copyright notice

License-free use of this design is strictly for non-commercial purposes only. For commercial use, please contact us.

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