BLOOMINGTON, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bloomington-based Garden Tower Project is helping to protect against the spread of COVID-19 by mass-producing face mask frames for healthcare providers and communities. The food-grade, durable frames offer a no-sew, affordable solution for individuals to easily cover their face with material they have access to.
The frames are created to be paired with widely available filter materials or a basic sewn mask. The flexible frame contours around the wearer’s nose and mouth to improve the seal and help reduce the transmission of aerosols, which may spread the coronavirus, according to the latest research from the National Academy of Sciences.
Garden Tower Project converted equipment at its injection-molding partner facilities in Indiana to produce the face mask frames from high-quality plastic using a 3D-printing design, making them the first and only frames in mass-production and available to consumers. More than 20,000 of the frames are already shipping nationally, and Garden Tower Project has sourced Bloomington community members who cannot otherwise work to package and send the orders.
“When we saw the frame design, we realized we could use our expertise with injection-molding and our tooling to take it from an idea to a physical product, and make it at a low cost,” said Joel Grant, Garden Tower Project business partner. “Garden Tower Project is small and adaptable, and we knew we could help our community and many others by producing these face mask frames.”
The face mask frame model was adapted from a 3D-printing design made by Mark Fuller, a Cincinnati-based senior manufacturing engineer for General Electric. This design makes it possible for companies with injection molding tools to easily mass-manufacture the frames.
Garden Tower Project is also facilitating an increase in production of the face masks around the country. The company has sent the digital part files and mask frames to other companies with injection-molding equipment, including Celanese Corporation.
“It’s more important than ever to spread innovation that protects people quickly and easily,” Grant said. “We hope that our production model will enable companies around the country to produce the face mask frames and, as a result, prevent further spread of the virus.”
The face mask frames are available for families in packages of six, with two small, two medium, and two large sizes for $8.54 with free shipping in Indiana.
For communities, healthcare providers and essential businesses, the frames are available in packages of 72 for $68.74 and packages of 864 for $585.00 with free shipping in Indiana.
About Garden Tower Project
Garden Tower Project is a small, socially-responsible company based in Bloomington, Indiana with big ideas. Our Garden Tower 2™ food-grade composting container garden is empowering people toward their own food security and transforming the face of gardening and food sustainability. To us, food security is more than growing your own food—it is about growing healthy food. Learn more at gardentowerproject.com/ and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.