Has the Cornell community considered 3D printing antimicrobial masks?

Date: March 2020


Dear Dean,

As students staying here in Ithaca, my friend and I would like to share this information with the Graduate School since this may be good for the community. We thought the platform of “Ask a Dean” may be a way to share this. 

Considering the panic from no masks or other protection, 3D printing may be a way to relieve this situation, especially since there should be some 3D printers on campus.

Here is the news about 3D printing antimicrobial masks: Copper 3D organizing global campaign to 3D print antimicrobial masks on a global scale (this link provides the printable model for free), and here is the Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies, a Facebook group.

As materials science and engineering is not our field, we believe the Dean has a better idea with whom to share this kind of information with and look into the possibility of conducting it at Cornell.

We would like to thank you all the hard work the Graduate School does. We are sure you are extremely busy, and please take good care of yourself.


Fight Against COVID-19 Together-Grad


Dear Fight Against COVID-19 Together-Grad,

Thanks very much for your thoughtful Ask a Dean idea. I appreciate you thinking creatively about how Cornell individuals – students, staff, and faculty – might be helpful in combatting the global SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) and COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to working and learning remotely, practicing 6’ social distancing, washing hands frequently, avoiding touching our faces, covering any cough with a tissue or sleeve, and encouraging others to do the same, our research, scholarship, and service may be brought to bear on tackling these complicated issues.

To your idea about 3D printing of masks, I’ve been informed that experts from Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell’s College of Engineering are indeed collaborating toward producing N-95-type masks that meet U.S. F.D.A. guidelines. That’s one example of the creativity and dedication of our community.

Thanks again for sharing your idea. Take good care of yourself, as well. And thanks for your note of appreciation for all the hard work of the Graduate School staff. Especially in times like these, it’s very nice to have that feedback!

To good health,


Barbara A. Knuth
Dean of the Graduate School