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U.S. Military F-35 Troops Used 3D Printed Homemade N95 Masks To Make 4 In 45 Hours

Apr 11, 2020

Faced with the increasingly serious epidemic of new pneumonia, the US military has also used its own ingenuity to start making masks. The 388th Fighter Wing of the US Air Force equipped with F-35 fighters used a 3D printer to make N95 masks.


According to news released by the US Air Force 388th Fighter Wing on April 7, the unit has been doing its best to protect itself since the outbreak of a new coronary pneumonia outbreak in Utah, where the unit is deployed to Hill Air Force Base. It is not relying on the outside to provide protective materials, because medical workers and emergency personnel even need these epidemic prevention items.

In order to strengthen self-protection, the fighter maintenance department of the 388th Fighter Wing used 3D printing technology to create protective masks to protect the officers and soldiers when working in some key areas. In these places, you want to maintain a "social distance" "It will be more difficult.

Colonel Michael Myers, commander of the 388th Fighter Wing, said, "I am deeply impressed by the resourcefulness of our pilots and crew members. They have developed many innovative methods to overcome current difficulties and ensure our mission. ability."


The report said that the force used 3D printing technology to make N95 masks. They used a synthetic material (nylon, plastic, and carbon fiber) on the 3D printer to make the mask. Each mask was composed of three independently printed parts, which were the mask body, the internal grid, and the outer cover where the filter material was placed. This N95 mask can be used repeatedly and can be sterilized with alcohol. The filter element is cut from the filter material of the household air purifier. The rope that fixes the mask to the face is elastic, and the inner edge of the mask is sealed. The strip can guarantee the sealing performance.

However, the efficiency of manufacturing masks using 3D printing technology is not too high. The fighter wing pilot Brett House said: "It currently takes 45 hours to make 4 masks, so the 3D printer is in operation 24 hours." The fighter maintenance department has received orders for dozens of masks, according to the current Speed cannot be demanded, and other alternatives are being sought. Commander Colonel Michael Myers said: "We are also considering sewing less complex fabric masks and purchasing them from the market, but we are very excited about our ability to produce masks."

It is reported that the 388th Fighter Wing of the US Air Force is currently the most advanced F-35A fifth-generation fighter, and it is also the first F-35A fighter unit in the United States to achieve full deployment. On December 17, last year, the force received their last F-35A fighter, bringing the total number of F-35 deliveries of the force to 78. Each of the three squadrons of the 388th Fighter Wing has 24 F-35A fighters, and 6 aircraft as spares.


Making masks in the US military is no longer a new thing. Compared with the high-tech production method of the 3rd 388th Fighter Wing using 3D printers, the special forces of the US Army Special Forces directly turned into sewing workers and skillfully used sewing machines to sew masks. .

According to information released by the US Department of Defense on April 4, special forces deployed to the Army ’s First Special Forces Support Battalion at the Lewis-McCod Joint Base in Washington State have recently begun to produce personal protective equipment for the new coronary pneumonia epidemic.


It is reported that the soldiers of the special operations force have made reusable breathing masks, 3D printed protective masks and medical masks for the Army Medical Center and other cooperative units. Parachute repair soldiers at the battalion used their sewing machines to sew medical masks. The commander and commander of the battalion, Christopher Jones, also said: "The airborne force was initially able to produce 200 masks per day with only 5 sewing machines."

According to the feedback from medical staff, the soldiers will continue to improve the production process and production process of masks. Jones said: "By this weekend, our production efficiency will continue to increase, under normal circumstances, can produce 1,000 to 1,500 masks per week."

On April 2, the first batch of 300 medical masks produced by the force had been delivered to the Madigan Army Medical Center.