Personal Protection Appliance
The FaceMatch™ is a comfortable, rugged, reusable device.
IMPORTANT NOTE March 19th:
In response to the Corona virus pandemic, we have created a ‘universal adult male’ version of the FaceMatch.
This is the result of ‘blending’ a great many individual facial maps. This allowed us to create an ‘average’ appliance. They are faster to produce, because we do not have to design each one based on a unique facial mapping. The cost is lower ($55) for the same reason.
So far, the fit is surprisingly good on different adult men. The stretchy nature of TPU rubber obviously helps.
This appliance can be sterilized, and will tolerate temperatures of 250 C (482 f) easily. Eventually, this will degrade the bungee cord, which can be replaced without tools. The appliance itself is extremely durable.
We are working on a children’s version, unisex.
If you have access to a 3D printer and want to help yourself or others, we will give you our source file for free. This is done with no restrictions or intellectual property claims. Just ask. Please ask.
Update: The GrabCad link is working. Download the files here: https://grabcad.com/library/face-mask-appliance-1
The bungee cord we use is 1/8th inch, like THIS. The cord-locks we use are THESE. Obviously substitutions can be used. This device must be printed in TPU or similar material. We like NinjaFlex. ABS or PLA will not work… too brittle.
Please note: Color may vary.
Also, this YouTube video is an excellent tutorial on making an improvised mask to combine with the FaceMatch:
A good link on HERE on DIY mask materials that would work with the FaceMatch.
NOTE: The following content was made before Corona virus, and before we made the universal versions. The information is still useful.
Instantly improve the fit and performance of disposable respirators and face masks. First time, every time.
Improvise a protective mask in moments with a piece of clothing, bandanna, etc.
If smoke inhalation is the concern, soak whatever cloth you are using in water. Soaking the cloth in apple cider vinegar can reduce the effects of tear gas and other irritants.
Consistently protect children, elderly, or the infirm… no skill or training needed for a correct fit.
Reusable thousands of times. Cleaning, if needed, can be done with soapy water, in a dishwasher, or with alcohol.
The FaceMatch™ is made from a comfortable ‘memory’ rubber. Latex free, non-irritating, and virtually unbreakable. Crush it, fold it, stretch it, or sit on it, and it springs right back.
If you want to understand how the FaceMatch was conceived and developed, scroll all the way to the bottom for a brief history…
IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE: BECAUSE WE ARE NOW MAKING THE ‘UNIVERSAL’ FaceMatches, WE NO LONGER NEED PHOTOS OR ANY OTHER DATA. INFORMATION BELOW IS HISTORICAL (OLD) AND INCLUDED FOR CONTEXT.
Using three photographs of a person’s face, we topographically map, in 3D, the precise facial shape. Then we use CAD software and a proprietary process to create a unique FaceMatch™
appliance that matches the facial contours. Then the appliance is 3D printed, prepped, and assembled with diamond grip bungee cord, pull tabs, and cord locks for adjustable tension. The result is an accurate, strong device that fits the user like a glove.
Above, a 3D facial map with the FaceMatch™ modeled, prior to manufacturing.
Below, the resulting appliance:
To create your
FaceMatch™, we need three photographs – front, and left and right profiles:
Take the photographs in good lighting, with a neutral expression. Remove eyeglasses and pull hair away from your face. Facial hair is acceptable but may slightly degrade the accuracy of your appliance. A blank wall as a background is helpful.
Pictures do not need to be high resolution, but should be in focus. Cell phone pictures work well. Pictures that are unnecessarily high in resolution (and therefore file size) can be difficult to email.
Note: One of the benefits of the FaceMatch™ is the excellent fit with young children, and the fact that no skill or training is needed for a proper fit… but kids tend to smile at cameras, and a smile degrades accurate mapping 😉 Please ask children to hold a neutral expression for the pictures.
We also need something called pupillary distance. You might be familiar with this if you have ever had prescription glasses made. It is the distance between your pupils when you are looking straight ahead. Easy to do with a ruler and a mirror by yourself, or a friend can help. You can provide this number in inches or millimeters.
Most adults are 60 – 70 millimeters, or about 2.5 inches. Children and adolescents are, of course, smaller.
We use the pupillary distance to accurately scale your facial topography. With just pictures, we can determine the shape of your face, but not its size. Don’t be overly concerned about being super accurate. If you are within a couple millimeters that is fine.
Please email your photos and the pupillary distance to us by clicking here. We will attach your data to your order.
Please Note: We 3D print two initials onto the pull tab of each FaceMatch™. This is helpful if many devices are being used in one location. We will use the initials from the first and last name of your order (unless you tell us otherwise).
If you have questions or need assistance, just call us at (931) 207-0079 or email Sales@PortableUniversalPower.com
If you are purchasing a FaceMatch™ for each member of your family, please call the office so we can extend a special discount.
Please note: We do not disclose, distribute, or retain your photos. Once we create your facial map, the photos are no longer needed, and are deleted off of our servers. In the future, if you need a replacement FaceMatch or just want a duplicate, we can easily produce it from the facial map.
We offer a one year warranty on the FaceMatch. If it breaks or somehow is no longer effective, we will repair or replace it and ship it back to you at no cost.
The FaceMatch™ is only available in black.
Entire unit weighs less than one ounce! Around 28 grams.
Free shipping, with tracking, within the U.S.A.
Please call the office for international rates: (931) 207-0079
Please allow up to two weeks for this custom device to be manufactured and shipped.
Duplicate or replacement appliances are available for 50% of the original unit cost. This discount is possible because we only have to do the mapping, design, and engineering once, for the first unit.
USNERDOC did a brief teaser on the FaceMatch… we will update this when he finishes his review
Well, the Doc received his FaceMatch™! Here is his very brief review after using it:
For the interested reader, some history about the FaceMatch, from Bill Harrison:
Several years ago, one of the decks here at the Hardened Power Homestead needed to be stained. I used a power sprayer and wore an N95 mask during painting. It was a large job, and after finishing I went inside to clean up and shower. When I looked at my face in the mirror, I did a double-take. There were two dark streaks running downward along my cheeks, parallel to the sides of my nose. It was obvious that the mask had not protected me. I had tried to fit it correctly, had pinched the little metal band against my nose, and had done a ‘self test’ by exhaling into the mask and trying to feel airflow around the edges of the mask.
Disconcerting, to say the least. I had bought the mask, used the mask, put up with the heat and discomfort of the mask, and still wound up breathing paint. I mentally filed the experience under “there has to be a better way” and reached out to a friend who is a paramedic in a busy metropolitan city. I started to explain what happened, and before I even finished he was nodding his head, holding up his hands, and saying “I know, I know… it’s a problem.”
What he explained was fascinating and worrisome. Turns out that getting a proper fit with an N95 (or any disposable mask) is a known issue. Most hospitals, for example, are required to perform annual fit tests on their employees. The test subject dons an N95, followed by a larger plastic hood, and then a tiny amount of saccharin is released into the intermediate airspace. The saccharin has a very strong smell, and if the subject reacts, his mask is not fitting correctly. It is common for this test to be repeated several times as the subject attempts to fit their mask correctly. Eventually, the fit is good, the person gets a passing grade, and he goes back to work in the hospital.
This bothered me, and I started paying more attention to just how many people were using N95 style masks for protection. Hospitals are obvious, but I now think they are actually low in terms of total usage. Dental offices, drywall installers, body shop workers, allergy sufferers, construction, demolition, remediation crews, and more. The ubiquitous N95 was seemingly everywhere once I started to think about it. Fire crews, smoke jumpers, soldiers, paramedics, EMT’s, pest control, woodworkers, landscapers, even janitors, maids, and insulation installers. The list kept growing the more I thought about it, and so did my resolve.
I thought maybe I could do something about it and was determined to try. This was not misplaced confidence or tilting at windmills. I have a background in product design, manufacturing, and medical devices. I helped pioneer the use of rapid prototyping in the medical industry before 3D printers were even a thing, and I now owned a company that had built a reputation for innovation and quality manufacturing. I thought again about the sheer number of people impacted by the ‘false positive’ of wearing an N95, thinking they were protected, and I wanted to try.
Over the next three years, we tried and failed to get a product that worked well. My original goal was perhaps a bit ambitious: Using nothing but photographs of a human face, create an accurate 3D model. From that model, create a comfortable, rugged appliance that solves the chronic fitting problem of disposable face masks.
A family member who is in the military was looking at a prototype and said, “I wouldn’t even need an N95 if I had this thing. I would grab any chunk of clothing I had, soak it in water, and use this to get through smoke, gas, or… whatever.” I realized that there were bigger implications — improvised masks. Any material that was an acceptable barrier — a T-shirt, a towel, a bandage, a bandanna, a shemagh — virtually anything could be a barrier if it could be sealed against the face. My resolve strengthened.
I learned that my reach was exceeding my grasp, and we consistently failed. The software was not good enough, the computers were not powerful enough, the 3D printing technology was not advanced enough. The project lived, died, lived, died, and died again. Here in the shop, we started calling it the Frankenstein project. As I write this, there are two plastic bins in the shop full of failed prototypes.
Then the CAD software got more capable. The topographical mapping software got more accurate and more intelligent. 3D printing technology using hyper-strong rubber became more feasible. I restarted the project (again), and we started making units for employees, family, friends, and early-adopters. Feedback was very, very good. Frankenstein was alive!
It is now the summer of 2018, and I am delighted to say that we can do it. Using proprietary software, unique hardware, and hard-won techniques, we can produce a custom appliance for anyone, anywhere in the world, without even meeting them. The result is a soft, comfortable, rubber frame that will fit any human face (so far), very accurately. The included elastic shock cords are durable, comfortable, and adjustable.
The possibilities are truly amazing — medical professionals, first responders, allergy sufferers, industrial workers, and many others now have an effective solution to the long-standing problem of accurate fit. Now it takes no skill, practice, or ‘perfect world’ scenarios. You simply put it on, and it works. Children, elderly, and incapacitated alike can now have an accurate, effective seal for their protection.
I look forward to building you one.