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How to make a 3D printed Montana face mask Answered

The internet is now literally flooded with these great face masks.
People are even selling them for profit in blatnt violation of the creators intentions.

A lot of people like me, with a 3D printer have abandoned their projects and ressources for the greater good.
If is now us "geeks" making a huge difference in our local communities.

I have accumulated few tricks when it comes to these masks over the last few weeks and kg of filament.
The number one complaint if you dare to call a nice request a complaint is that the printed surface is often too hard to clean.
The Montana mask needs to be printed in either PLA or PETG as other plastic can't tolerate the harsh sanitizer requirements over a long time.
Nylon would work fine as well but is too difficult to deal with in the machine and severly limits the options to glue or stick anything onto the material.
Be aware that PETG is a true pain here as well!

Ok, PLA it is but how can we all speed the printing up and produce an even better surface finnish?
The key like with ABS to use a solvent to either perform a vapour cloud smoothing or to brush or even spray the solvent onto the surface.
Added beneift is that you can repair minor damages or imperfections quite easy instead of wasting the mask.
PLA is "organic" to go with the food hype here.
That means common solvents used in biolabs will work just fine.

Hey! You forgot to tell us what solvent to use!!
Sorry, my bad :(
Use Ethylacetate the same way you would use Acetone on ABS.
Dissolve some PLA in it to make a thin slurry or as said just brush it on with a suitable brush a few times until you get the desired surface quality.

No Ethylacetate at hand? No problem ;)
One word though: Please use level 3 PPE when dealing with the ingredients or concentrated solvent!
That means chemical and acid proof gloves, apron and face shield.
For making it you should also use a fume hood or at least a breathing apparatus/filter maks with acivated carbon layers.
You need concentrated Acetic Acid, also called Glacial Acid is it will freeze at about 17°C.
You also need ethanol of at least 98% - no methylated spirit, denatured alcohol or such things if you can as the end product will contain the contaminants.
Slowly add the acid to a small amount of the alcohol.
Use a glas stirrer or similar to mix it a little bit.
Use indicator paper to check for the acidity.
Once it gets acidic add a small amount of alcohol to get into the neutral zone again.
You can dry the product using the common drying agents for solvents that contain water as by your chemical book or preference.
Again: Please be advised that Glacial acetic acid is not only extremely harmful but also highly flammable and that it can explode under the wrong handling conditions.
Whenever possible you should obtain Ethylacetate solution from a proper chemical supplier to avoid the hazard of making your own.
Do not attempt if you are not used to and trained to handle dangerous chemicals!

Once the mask has the required finnish let the solvent evaporate off over nigh in a well ventialted area.
After that a simple wash with soapy water followed by a sanitation with bleech solution makes the mask reay to pack and seal.


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