Open Mask Project Goal: To develop and share open-source Powered Air Purifying Respirator designs, plans, and details, using readily procurable, off the shelf materials, along with 3-D printed parts. This is a Quick-Launched, urgent project that will be unable to meet strict FDA regulatory guidelines within the massively compressed timeline of the C19 crisis. Our goal is to rapidly develop and deploy as many of PAPR Respiration devices to the at-risk, front-line workers as quickly as humanly possible.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is in extremely short supply around the world. Many hospitals are desperately seeking masks, gowns, gloves, and other PPE. Even in cities that are lightly hit by COVID-19, hospitals are asking for PPE donations.

This is our attempt to help and we encourage your participation.

Open Mask is one hundred percent open source and free to use.

What is a PAPR?

PAPR Respirator in use

PAPR stands for Powered Air Purifying Respirator. So, let’s break that down to see what makes these devices so special. First of all, these are actual, fully functioning, portable, human respirators. Not comparable to passive filter masks or similar. Next is their Air Purifying capability, which uses HEPA filtration to trap contaminants down to 0.3 µ. Last, is the Powered component, which provides the battery-powered capability that allows both mobility and safety to users.

So, How does PAPR Respirator performance compare to the ubiquitous N95 Medical masks? There is really no comparison. The N95 spec yields a 95% effectiveness in a laboratory test environment, but in the real world, used on millions of face shapes and user competencies, that rate plummets. The reuse of these disposable masks crashes their performance even further.

PAPR respirators, on the other hand, are not disposable by design, but instead are designed for continual reuse. Some components in the PAPR systems, such as filters and fabric hoods are life-limited and easily replaced in the field.

PAPR benefits include

  • Integrated head and face PPE protection via the hood and face shield components
  • Unmatched purification and safety performance for users
  • Measurably improved user comfort and fatigue reduction
  • No need for complex mask fitting training and rules
  • Allows use over facial hair and a range of hairstyles
  • Improved communication, both by visual expression and lip-read, along with reduced muffling
  • Reduced supply-chain vulnerabilities that the massive disposable PPE shortages have highlighted
  • Rechargeable, reusable,  and redeployable over many hundreds of duty cycles
PAPR ve N95 Performance Chart
PAPR ve N95 Performance Chart

Most face worn masks are extremely uncomfortable, even painful, to wear for long periods. Also, most masks are disposable.  We decided that PAPR (pronounced papper) is one of the best available solutions to mitigate many of these problems.

We are a group of educators, MSU alums, and technogeeks based in and around the MSU, East Lansing area with the common goal of helping our front line healthcare workers during this crisis. We hope to make some small difference if possible.

Open-Mask v2.3 PAPR Hood
Open-Mask v2.3 PAPR Hood

We have just released our Open-Mask v2.3 PAPR Hood. Please download and build of for yourself and send us your feedback.

Note: All Open-Mask.org devices are rapid emergency Prototypes that have not yet sought FDA approval.