Makeit Labs, the state’s oldest and biggest makerspace (pre-COVID anyway – who knows what size anything is, these days?) has designed and made a pandemic-suitable face mask with a transparent section so that deaf people can still read your lips. The story from Monadnock Ledger-Transcript is right here.
But there’s a problem.
Makerspaces tend to be heavily male and as a reflection of that they emphasize hard technology (motors, computers, wood- and metal shops) over soft technology (sewing, quilting and other fabric arts). That has proved an obstacle here: “While the makerspace has plenty of materials to create the plastic shields, there aren’t enough members who have the necessary skills to sew the cloth base to insert them in. Members have put out the call within their local communities, asking for additional help.”
The mask has “a plastic barrier at the center so people can still see expressions and lips. The makerspace created their own design that allows the plastic barrier to be removed from its cloth base, so the rest of the mask can be washed and the plastic sterilized between uses.”
Anyone with the skills to sew a basic, double-sided mask shouldn’t have an issue with the pattern, he said, and MakeIt Labs has made their design public domain, so anyone can access it. They also have provided laser cutting instructions, but will also provide pre-cut plastic windows for those that are only able to sew the frame.