3D Printed Face Mask Adaptors - SCOPES Digital Fabrication

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Joseph Dowd


This lesson is a guided activity to help make a product with real world application during this pandemic. This workshop activity can be done in person while being socially distanced, or over a video chat. It is centered around the 3D design, modeling and printing of a face mask adapter. A face mask adapter is an extension that puts the ear loops of a face mask off your ears and keeps the mask secure on your face.


Students will accomplish the following:


  • Identify and design key aspects of face mask adapter design.
  • Learn to use Tinkercad for the 3D modeling
  • Apply knowledge of 3D Modeler to face mask adapter design


Teachers will accomplish the following:


  • Guide student design of their face mask adapter 
  • Edit and adjust any common design mistakes
  • Print off face mask adapters


This project connects multiple different Unified Arts subjects. STEM, Health and Physical Education are all present in this project, this is how.


PE: With the impact of Covid 19, the world of Sports has seen some major changes. The same can be said for Physical Education Classes.

The Mask Adaptors that have been created through Digital Fabrication will allow students to feel more comfortable while exercising and participating in class.

 The adaptors will give students a better fitting mask and take away any stress from the strings on their ears. They can also lessen restriction around the head and facial area. Comfort has always been a priority when it comes to athletic equipment and has played an important part in physical fitness.


STEM: Hello everyone, my name is Joseph Dowd. I am the STEM teacher at the Arlington Middle School in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Digital fabrication relates to a STEM Curriculum in numerous different ways. The S in STEM stands for Science. This could come down to what type of plastic to use when printing your 3D model for example PLA or Nylon. The T in STEM stands for Technology. This is a very simple one, this relates to the actual 3D Printer and Vinyl Cutter we use. The E in STEM stands for Engineering. When making our holiday cards with the vinyl cutter, and the face mask adapter with 3D printer we followed a process called the Engineering Design Process. This process in a nutshell helps you design, test, and revise a product that you are making. Lastly, we have the M for Mathematics. This pertains to verifying that our products are within the dimensions given to us.


Health: When I started participating in fablab I wondered how it would relate to health. I soon realized there were many ways it related to health. The students made mask holders so that their masks would stay on their face as well as not hurt or irritate their ears. I loved how creative they were with their mask holders. The students really made it personalized to themselves. Some students made it for a parent who has to wear a mask all day at work. When we return to school I think these mask holders would be very functional and popular with our students. Masks are here to stay so anyway we can make them more comfortable and functional is a huge benefit. I am excited to see what the kids make moving forward.



What You'll Need

Access to a computer

Access to internet

TinkerCad Account https://www.tinkercad.com/

3D printer


The following YouTube video is via TinkerCad. It is a good showing on the basics of how to teach using TinkerCad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63fAhwyyMKk


It is highly recommended that the teacher has background knowledge on the basics of TinkerCad. If the teacher does not they should go onto the “starters” on TinkerCad. (https://www.tinkercad.com/learn/project-gallery;collectionId=OPC41AJJKIKDWDV)

There are a total of 10 “starters”. Each is a mini lesson on different basic aspects on how to use TInkerCad.

The Instructions

Get Students Situated

Day 1 Introduce Projects/Make sure students can get logged into TinkerCad (see video above from what you'll need) https://www.tinkercad.com/ Approx. 90 Minute Class Periods

Day 1


Make sure students get logged into Tinkercad and introduce projects along with dimensional requirements. Show the steps of the Engineering Design Process.


Dimensional Requirements:

Must be about 1” Wide and 6” Long. ⅛” Thick 

Must be able to print off within 1 Hour 

Design Mask Adapters

Day 2 to 4 General time for designing face mask adapters. If students have never used Tinkercad it is highly recommended to do the "starters" on TinkerCad. (https://www.tinkercad.com/learn/project-gallery;collectionId=OPC41AJJKIKDWDV) There are a total of 10 "starters". Each is a mini lesson on different basic aspects on how to use TInkerCad. 3 X 90 Minute Class Periods

Day 2 to 4 


Show examples of mask adapters. Show what makes different ones work better than others. Help students who are having trouble with Tinkercad. If students continue to struggle with Tinkercad, Give them templates of adapters and have them add their own twist to it. For example, their names, their own logo design etc. 

Print off masks adapters

Time to print off mask adapters.

Day 5


Mask adapters are due at the end of class. For those students that are already done the teacher may start printing off their projects so the students can see their projects being printed in real time.


  • (Fab-Modeling.1): I can arrange and manipulate simple geometric elements, 2D shapes, and 3D solids using a variety of technologies.
  • (Fab-Fabrication.1): I can follow instructor guided steps that link a software to a machine to produce a simple physical artifact.
  • (Fab-Design.1): I can be responsible for various activities throughout a design process within a group under instructor guidance.

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  1. LizWhitewolf March 2, 2021
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