ShapeMaster Collaborates with UIUC and other Local Organizations to Fabricate N95 Respirator Mask

During the early stages of the COVID-19 global pandemic, hospitals and healthcare providers across the nation had shortages of N95 Masks and face shields. There was a pressing need for PPE and Jeremy Guest, director of the Environmental Engineering and Science Laboratories in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, set out to help meet the need in the local community.

Our work with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign goes back over 30 years and encompasses many departments. We have a network of friends who began here at Urbana-Champaign. Some projects that we produced years ago continue to bring us new opportunities when an educator or student moves on to other places around the nation.

This networking is recently demonstrated in the development of the N95 respirator mask and Face Shields stemming from our contacts at the University of Illinois architecture department and a friend at the university’s CNC shop for students.

N95 Mask

This friend came to us on a weekend requesting our assistance in plastic vacuum thermoforming of a new N95 mask due to the national shortage with none available for medical professionals, nurses, and doctors at our local hospitals.

Working with a team of “Makers” from our community, we provided programming, CNC machining of the tooling and molding of the plastic masks along with necessary components that we sourced through a local shop on campus and helped bring this project to fruition. This collaboration included the University of Illinois, OSF HealthCare, Carle Foundation Hospital, and other local groups.

The team consisted of many home-based “Makers” and a few businesses like ShapeMaster as well as U of I staff. What a great example of coming together as a community to meet the needs of frontline workers.

Face Shields, N95 Masks, and other components created and fulfilled on time allowed for our local nurses and doctors to feel confident that they had the necessary PPE to keep them safe.

Whatever problem presents itself in plastic, metal, wood, and more, we are certain our team of design engineers can help bring a solution and produce prototypes and production. Read the full press release here: