Use Your 3D Printer in Fight against Corona Spread in Your Community

Gladius respirator is a symbol of combating the coronavirus pandemic. The first prototype was developed by David Kvaternik, one of the project’s idea leaders to protect his family in the uncertain time of the pandemic. David, an expert in VR/AR and 3D modelling scanned both, his own and his wife’s face and used the scans to create a generic version of respirator in two sizes fitting the human face.

David has designed and 3D printed the first prototypes that were tested by doctors in a hospital in Slovenia using various filter media. Based on the feedback of medical professionals the design was further improved and the Respirator with HEPA filter was then released to the Open-Source community.

David’s idea inspired Ales Pevc and Doroteja Maklin. Together the three of them initiated a team of experts and supporters to create a community initiative in Slovenia which is driven by the vision that everyone can actively help protect lives. In the following days a core team supported by experts in design, microbiology, physics, public relations, business development, education, health and medicine started planning and taking steps to supply the masks and respirators to both front line and second line workers as soon as possible.


To do so, a map of available 3D printing machines in Slovenia was created and makers were encouraged to print the Gladius Heroes respirator. The initiative was named Zascitimo Slovenijo (Protect Slovenia) to unite and initiate makers to help fight the pandemic.

The respirator design was continuously improved with the help of medical professionals and the idea of using existing breathing filters already available in most health centres was a leaver to design a new respirator customised to fit that effective, affordable and commonly available filter.

The core team is working 24/7 to design, test and offer new designs to Open-Source community so make sure you monitor this page regularly for the latest updates.


Gladius Heroes respirator mask

Gladius Heroes respirator mask is a prototype of a mask utilizing existing filters used for ventilators (see details about filters below) and it is intended for the front line heroes working in the healthcare industry.


What do you need?

  • 3D printer (model is not important)
  • 3D model of the respirator
  • PLA filament
  • Breathing Filter*

** Breathing filters are stocked in most health centres and hospitals as an accessory for ventilators. The model of the filter used to design the respirator is certified to 99.99% efficiency. The filter the mask was designed for can be found here.

3D print settings

  • Rafts: No
  • Supports: No
  • Resolution: 0.2
  • Infill: 15%
  • Filament material: PLA
  • Filament Brand: Trcek (or use any PLA brand that you trust)
  • Notes: No supports needed. We recommend 3 perimeters. PLA is used for its relative non-toxicity and personalization/fitting options.
  • Printing position: The mask must be printed in the original orientation (vertically), as otherwise the filter seal could be compromised

 Gladius Friends respirator mask

Gladius Friends respirator mask is a mask for everybody that has access to 3D printer or 3D printing service. The mask is reusable and can be fitted with a variety of filter materials for everyday use.


What do you need?

  • 3D printer (model is not important)
  • 3D model of the respirator mask
  • PLA filament
  • filter material

Recommendations for production

  • Rafts: No
  • Supports: No
  • Resolution: 0.2
  • Infill: 50%
  • Filament material: PLA
  • Filament Brand: Trcek (or use any PLA brand that you trust)

Filter installation

  • There is a variety of filter materials available with different specifications that may be used in the time of crisis and are scientifically supported. NASA researched HEPA filter properties and researchers from Cambridge University tested multiple domestic materials that may be used as filters
  • It is recommended that whichever filter material is selected, it is carefully cut into 60 x 60mm square and tightly glued into the mask cover. An adhesive that can withstand up to 70 degrees Celsius must be used. Please avoid harmful materials and respect the manufacturer’s instructions on the application.
  • The adhesive must dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Gladius mask may be reused with right disinfection and sterilization

With right disinfection and sterilization, the mask is reusable. Coronavirus is a heat-sensitive virus and becomes inactive when heated to 56° C for 15 minutes 12. Experts state that at the time of rationing during the outbreak of coronavirus in China, masks were sterilized and reused 3. They proved to successfully deactivate the virus during dry sterilization (use of industrial oven heat) at 56° C.

Note, that it is very important how you handle the mask before the sterilization process, as it must at all times be treated as contagious (infected with coronavirus).



Contact: David Kvaternik

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *