Living in the most polluted city in the world, it comes as no surprise when streets are flooded with people wearing pollution masks and cloth across their faces. Unfortunately, the pollution level has skyrocketed in recent years, and while most Indians previously used cloth and shawls to protect themselves from pollution, this has become almost ineffective against preventing respiratory ailments that come from breathing toxic air. The masks that do protect from such hazardous pollution retail for more than 3000 Rs., and they only last for a couple of months because the whole mask needs to be replaced when the filters get clogged. For the majority of India’s population, effective prevention is thus unaffordable. This project was a chance for me to work with a new 3D modeling application Morphi and its founder while harnessing my existing knowledge of 3D printing to prototype solutions.
In this case, the solution seemed simple: make the filters detachable so that they can be replaced. With the concept pictured above, the abilities of a 3d printer to create intricate shapes allowed me to conceive of a screwing mechanism that would make it easy for users to screw and unscrew the filters. With this modular design, customizability would also be achievable for both aesthetic and health benefits.
In terms of its waste reduction implications, this solution would eliminate the need to discard the entire mask. Working with the founder of Morphi, we also got to talking about biodegradable 3D printing filament; if we were to print the filter cartridges using this biodegradable filament, the filters would also reduce the waste produced by this product.
I will continue working with Morphi to fine-tune this solution and create a working prototype in the coming months.