FiT - a practical solution for the current mask crisis

(Lupburg, 2020-04-08) The manufacturing specialist FIT Additive Manufacturing Group is responding to the Corona Pandemic by developing a special filter carrier (FiT) for the general population, which can be combined with almost any filter material to form an emergency mask. The filter carrier can be used several times by simply and quickly changing the filter. A smaller model especially for children is currently being developed. The data set for a 3D printable model can be downloaded free of charge from the company's homepage.

All over the world, health systems and the population suffer from a lack of protective equipment. The people who are on the front line in hospitals fighting for the survival of infected patients therefore need all the professional protective equipment that can be manufactured to protect themselves from infection. At the same time, however, the population must also protect itself from infection in order to reduce the infection rate and thus relieve the burden on hospitals. Therefore, the wearing of protective masks is currently becoming increasingly important. The president of the German Medical Association (BÄK), Klaus Reinhardt, recently called for the wearing of protective masks. The problem: In many places protective masks are no longer available, which threatens an increasing distribution struggle.

For this reason, the FIT Additive Manufacturing Group has developed an alternative to conventional masks in the form of the FiT filter carrier so that anyone can reduce the risk of infecting others even without a mask. The easy-to-assemble kit is reusable, disinfectable, dishwasher-safe and consists of two identical plastic baskets between which any filter material, from a paper handkerchief, cotton tissues or antimicrobial covers to professional non-woven material, can be inserted. The filter material can be replaced quickly and easily at any time, as any material loses its effectiveness due to increasing moisture. Depending on which filter is inserted, the effectiveness of filtering the smallest particles out of the air also changes, as a study by the University of Cambridge has shown. In this study from 2013, the vacuum cleaner bag performed best in comparison to the surgical mask.

"We see how urgently respiratory masks are needed by the population and companies and want to make our contribution to the fight against the spread of the virus with our FiT filter carrier. We are fully aware that our filter carrier cannot protect healthy people from infection. We simply want to improve the protection of others, i.e. reduce the risk of infected people infecting others by droplet infection. In this way we want to contribute to a slowing down of the infection rate. And that's all that matters at the moment," explains Carl Fruth, CEO of FIT AG. Over the past few days, the Upper Palatinate expert for additive manufacturing has produced a first version of the FiT filter carrier using 3D printing. An enhanced version is now available, which can be produced thousands of times quickly and inexpensively by injection moulding. The company is planning a smaller model especially for children.

By keeping its distance, the world moves closer together in the face of global threats. It is to be hoped that this unprecedented state of emergency will be an impetus for a rethink in many areas, socially, politically and socially. "Now is the time to act and live in solidarity," affirms Carl Fruth. This is why the self-made entrepreneur will make the first production of the FiT available free of charge to all citizens of his home town of Lupburg.

The data set for a 3D printable version of the FiT filter carrier from the FIT Additive Manufacturing Group optimized for SLS machines is available for download free of charge on the company's homepage.

Link: Free STL download

Press photos:
Filter carrier
Caption: Carl Fruth wearing 3D printed filter carrier (Credits: FIT AG/Lisa Kirk)

Filter carrier Filter carrier Filter carrier
Caption: 3D printed filter carrier (Credits: FIT AG/Lisa Kirk)

About the FIT Additive Manufacturing Group
The FIT Additive Manufacturing Group is a leading international industrial partner for additive manufacturing. As a pioneer in the industry with over 25 years of experience, the company develops and manufactures prototypes, production aids, 3D printed spare parts or additive manufactured final components for a wide range of customers. From product design to construction and manufacturing to post-processing, the AM specialist makes the entire value-added chain of 3D printing available. In addition, FIT also has numerous conventional processes at its disposal, such as CNC milling, injection moulding, vacuum casting or the processing of elastomers for efficient small-batch production. FIT AG's sales in 2019 amounted to approximately EUR 25 million. The company currently employs a total of 300 people at its headquarters in Lupburg and at other locations in Feldkirchen, Bologna (Italy), Brasov (Romania), Zhukovsky (Russian Federation), Nagoya (Japan) and Peoria (USA).

Contact for the press:
Dr. Elisabeth Bauer
FIT Additive Manufacturing Group
Am Grohberg 1
92331 Lupburg

Am Grohberg 1
92331 Lupburg

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