And you may, too

My 3D-printed customized nostril bridge. Pictures courtesy of the creator

I put on glasses (not pictured above for picture causes), and for the final 9 months they’ve fogged up each time I’ve gone outdoors. For some purpose, I haven’t been capable of finding a masks that’s comfy and retains my breath from blowing up into my glasses.

Because of the magic of 3D printing, I’ve give you an answer, and it really works surprisingly effectively. And you are able to do it, too, when you’ve got entry to a 3D printer, some free software program, and somebody to assist measure your face. (You may measure your face your self, however that’s somewhat tougher.)

Here’s the plan: We’re going to make a instrument to measure the curvature of your nostril, after which use that measurement to design a customized clip to maintain fog off your glasses. You clip the bridge over a masks, and because it contours precisely to your face, it provides the customized cosy match of a masks with metallic wire, however in a extra inflexible materials that gained’t deform or unbend.

This complete undertaking is 3D printable, and may solely take just a few hours. The print time is about two hours for the instrument, after which lower than 30 minutes per iteration of nostril bridge. The fabric we’re going to print with is named PETG, or polyethylene terephthalate glycol. We’ll simply name it PETG. It’s extensively accessible and simpler to disinfect than PLA, or polylactic acid, which is the preferred 3D printing materials. Since that is going for use at the side of a masks, utilizing a fabric that may be disinfected, like PETG, is essential.

We’re going to design our undertaking in Fusion 360, which is free for a yr for those who’re a hobbyist. Should you don’t have any familiarity with Fusion 360, don’t despair. There are a ton of assets for studying the software program, and this undertaking is a straightforward introduction to a few of its primary instruments. To get a crash course, I just like the “Study Fusion 360 or Die Attempting” collection on YouTube by Paul McWhorter.

Let’s dive into step one: designing a instrument to measure your nostril.

The instrument we’re making is named a contour gauge. It’s usually used to repeat the curves of architectural items like moulding when chopping out flooring tiles or wooden flooring, however could be utilized to virtually any scenario during which you might want to match a posh curve.

The gauge consists of a inflexible rectangular piece that aligns a collection of skinny, particular person “fingers.” When the instrument is pressed in opposition to a curve, every finger strikes to adapt to the place it intersects with the curve. Right here’s an image, as a result of truthfully it’s a tough instrument to clarify.

Through consumer HGW on Thingiverse

There are just a few contour gauges accessible which have already been designed on Thingiverse, however we’re going to make our personal. This enables us to regulate precisely how exact the instrument is, but it surely additionally provides us management over how lengthy it takes to print by making it solely precisely as giant as our noses.

It’s time besides up Fusion 360. The simplest manner to make use of the software program is by taking measurements and setting them as parameters, that are primarily user-set variables which might be constant all through your undertaking. Setting these means you possibly can simply kind a variable you set like “tool_width,” as a substitute of getting to recollect precise dimensions when making shapes.

You’ll find the Change Parameters window within the Modify drop-down menu.

A fast measurement of my face tells me that 65 mm needs to be broad sufficient to cowl my nostril and attain underneath my eyes. Let’s set “tool_width” as 65 mm. Now that we all know how broad the rectangle we’re making is, we additionally want a top and a depth. Actually, these numbers aren’t as vital. We simply want it to be taller than the fingers, and deep sufficient to ensure the fingers are saved straight. I went with a top of 10 mm and a depth of 6 mm, which I estimated by opening up my calipers till it regarded proper.

We additionally have to outline the scale of the holes for the fingers to slip by means of. By way of a little bit of testing, I discovered {that a} sq. 2.four mm gap and a sq. 2.2 mm finger gave the items sufficient clearance to slip freely. We’re designing these small items in increments of .2 mm as a result of that’s the layer top we’re going to make use of on our printer. If we have been to make the outlet 2.5 mm and printed at .2 mm, we go away an excessive amount of room for the slicing software program to find out how the printer ought to take care of the surplus .1 mm.

So now our parameters needs to be:

tool_width: 65 mm

tool_height: 10 mm

tool_depth: 6 mm

tool_square: 2.four mm

finger_square: 2.2 mm

With these, it’s time to start out a sketch and choose the XY (vertical) aircraft. Create a “heart rectangle” on origin, and enter the related parameters for the peak and width of the rectangle.

Create one other “heart rectangle” on the origin, and this time enter “finger_square” as the scale. We’re going to repeat this sq. alongside a horizontal line, which is able to make all of the holes for our fingers. Choose “rectangular sample,” after which choose your sq.. I’ve discovered that portions of 17, 19, or 21 holes match effectively on our piece. Choose a primary distance of 30 mm, route kind of “symmetry,” after which a second row amount of 1 with a distance of 65 mm. Right here’s a picture to reference.

Now let’s make the finger design. On the X axis line outdoors of the piece we simply made, make one other “heart rectangle,” with each dimensions of “finger_square.”

We’re performed with our instrument design! Hit “FINISH SKETCH” and now let’s give these items a 3rd dimension. Click on “Extrude” after which select the instrument we made. It ought to routinely exclude the sq. holes. The one factor we have to change within the Extrude dialogue field is the gap, which we’ll kind as “tool_depth.” Click on “OK” and we’re virtually performed. Fusion 360 routinely hides sketches once you create a physique (an object with three dimensions), so flip the sketch again on by clicking the attention icon subsequent to it on the left facet of the display screen. Then extrude the finger, with a depth of “tool_width.” That is only a handy reuse of a parameter that makes the entire instrument and finger setup sq..

Within the checklist of our bodies on the left of your Fusion 360 display screen, right-click your instrument physique and choose “Save As STL.” Uncheck “Ship to 3D Print Utility,” hit “OK,” after which save your file. Then do the identical for the finger.

I’m going to gloss over a bunch of the settings that you simply want on your slicer, or the software program that interprets a 3D mannequin into directions for the 3D printer. You probably have a 3D printer, you in all probability know what works finest for you by way of temperature, infill, and so forth. Simply print at a daily 100% measurement, and with a layer top of 0.2 mm. Place the instrument mannequin on the digital plate with the holes going through up, after which add the finger mannequin to the plate and multiply it by as many holes as you added to your instrument.

Now print!

Assemble your gauge by putting all of the fingers by means of the instrument. I then held my gauge as much as my face with each palms, and after some mild mocking from my companion about how overboard this was, bought her to push every pin till it touched my face. Ensure the gauge is as parallel to your face as potential, which could be achieved by measuring the 2 outermost fingers first.

Use a bit of tape to safe the measurement in place, and marvel on the form of your nostril.

Right here’s what mine appears like:

Now comes the enjoyable half: Your customized nostril bridge!

Place your contour gauge on a bit of paper and mark the tip of every finger. I did this on my iPad, which made the method of changing right into a digital file somewhat simpler, however you too can take an image of your markings and add it to your pc.

Flip off all fashions and sketches in your Fusion 360 file.

Then on the highest menu bar, choose “Insert” after which “Canvas.” Place it on the XZ axis, and right-click the picture within the “Canvas” folder on the left facet of the display screen. Click on “Calibrate,” click on the outermost two factors in your sketch, and set them as “tool_width” to set it to the precise measurement.

Make a brand new sketch on the XZ (horizontal) aircraft.

Now make a “Match level spline” and hint the factors made by your contour gauge. You may need to fiddle with the spline factors a bit to make the road curve in a manner that appears comfy. Then, choose your line, and make an offset of three mm. This can create a parallel curve, which now we’ll join by choosing the road instrument, and connecting the 2 ends of every curve. Edit the spline factors once more to ensure every finish of the bridge lies flat in opposition to your face. I pulled the tip level out somewhat additional on both sides as effectively, to cowl somewhat extra distance of the face.

Create a rectangle with a width of three mm and a top of 1 mm. We’re going to make use of this form to chop a groove within the nostril bridge, so our clips will keep in place. Transfer the rectangle to the underside of 1 facet of the bridge, after which copy it, and paste the second model on the different facet.

Your sketch ought to now appear to be this:

Okay, let’s take just a few deep breaths. We’re virtually on the end line. All now we have left to do is design the clips to connect this nostril bridge to our masks, after which we’re performed.

The clips have to be somewhat deeper than the three mm bridge, so an inside of three.2 mm works for me, assuming we’re clipping in lower than a millimeter of material and factoring in that such a skinny piece of PETG goes to flex a bit. We’re going to make our nostril bridge 6 mm tall, which means the clips have to be that tall as effectively. Simply be certain each dimension is divisible by 0.2 mm, so that you don’t have issues printing. I’m going to publish an image of my design, so utilizing the road instrument, design the same clip that might wrap round your nostril bridge and safe the masks.

Now, we extrude our sketch to make our objects three dimensional. Choose “Extrude” and make the nostril bridge 6 mm. Should you positioned every part appropriately, it ought to extrude with the 2 grooves on your clips already reduce out. Subsequent, extrude your clip to be 2.6 mm, which ought to match snugly inside your three mm groove and abide by the 0.2 mm layer top.

Now save these two fashions as STL information, the identical manner you probably did for the nostril profiling instrument, and print. Be sure to copy your clip in your slicing software program so that you print out two, and it by no means hurts to make just a few extras.

And now you’re performed. Print your fashions, and revel in unfogged glasses because of your very personal customized nostril bridge.

An earlier iteration of the nostril bridge, examined on a bandana.

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