Introduction: An Environmental Mask


Team: Mohammad Momenabadi, Jianjia Xu

Instructors: Kyle Steinfeld, Simon Schleicher, Jonathan Bachrach, Luis Jaggy

The objective of the project was to fabricate a Mask that
could change the environmental perception of the human: Above us only sky.

We used double layers and explored the bending method to make these masks. We can make different masks by changing some parameters which are influencing the appearances and the functions of the masks. For each mask we have designed different slots and mirrors through which we can change the perceptions of the people who wear these masks.

Step 1: Design Exploration (Double-layer)

Double-layer mask: Upper layer and underneath layer. The underneath layer is the layer that should adjust to different people’s face, and the upper layer is the layer that can affect how the mask looks like. The first merit of using double-layer for the mask is to set the upper layer free, so the upper layer can go beyond the limits of shapes, patterns or materials (we used aluminum and Polypropylene this time)as long as it can be attached to the underneath layer. The second merit is the double-layer system can create a space between the two layers, which can provide the space for the mirror. We can see the sky through the mirror.

Step 2: Design Simulation

The design method for this project was using a parametric process to generate different masks with different appearances. Then simulating the created mask through Kangaroo Physics to see how the final shape bends and to what extend the created mask is usable.

Step 3: Design Customization and Optimization

Once we got the simulated shape of the mask, we can use a parametric
process to generate the mirror between the two layers and customize the mask with the pupil distance and eyes height. We also used the Galapagos to optimize the “skyness” (the amount of sky you can see) for each individual mask.

Step 4: Layout & Cut

After designing the mask with intended eye positions, we
unroll the model, labeled the holes, and prepared a DXF file ready to cut by OMAX Water jet machine. The Masks were fabricated out of a 14” by 25’ roll of Aluminum sheet with 0.012” thickness. And for the mirror we used 1/8” mirrored acrylics which can be laser cut and labeled tabs to connect to surfaces of the masks. We used the OMAX water jet to cut. The problem with this thickness is that since it is very thin, after cutting the aluminum sheet cannot stay flat. So the sheet must be stuck on a harder sheet and then cut, which makes the process longer.

Step 5: Assembly

After cutting, all the pieces must be cleaned. All the tapes must be removed and the sheets must be washed and dried. Then start riveting the masks. We used blind rivet, rivet gun and washer to make the masks. The washer is necessary because under pressure the rivet tears the piece at joining point and the rivet comes out of the joinery. Aluminum sheets were bent based on overlapping the holes which were cut before. Then, we embedded the rivet from one side and the washer from the other side of the sheet and riveted them. Also, for the mirror, we were using a locking system to freeze the angle of the mirror between two layers of the mask. Then we riveted the underneath layer of the mask to be fit with the curvature of the people’s face.