State officials tour new biotech start-up company that produces 3D-printed face mask frames

Connecticut

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz joined U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and UConn President Tom Katsouleas to tour Connecticut Biotech Wednesday afternoon, a new start-up company that is producing 3D-printed face mask frames.

UConn developed the technology to create a custom mask frame that makes regular surgical masks more protective and helps to secure filtration.

The frames use photographs of a customer’s face to measure out a custom fit. Developers say they help masks conform better to your face and that, in turn, provides more protection against COVID-19.

Middletown public schools will get a batch for the start of the school year.

Dr. Cato Laurencin of UConn Health said, “using some unique technologies where we can use some technologies in terms of facial recognition to really rapidly and precisely create these masks.”

Governor Ned Lamont added, “we’re probably the state most likely to wear a mask and imagine if we’re the state most likely to wear a fitted mask that really keeps you safe.”

They’ve started manufacturing and selling the frames to help refine the process with a large-scale distribution planned for later this year.

Right now you can buy one of the frames for about $40. But they’ll soon be sold only to health care providers who don’t have access to N95’s.

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