University of Delaware-made HensNest protective mask is headed toward mass production

Mechanical Engineering Design Studio's co-directors led the design process of the reusable N95 alternative, now in a testing phase — and they're looking for makers to produce it.

The assembled HensNest protective mask.


Makers, entrepreneurs and even organizations such as Delaware Libraries have all joined the cause to create donatable items to aid in the fight against COVID-19, including personal protective equipment like face shields and masks.

It’s no surprise that the University of Delaware’s Mechanical Engineering Design Studio is involved as well — and has come up with a simple design for a 3D-printed mask that, unlike fabric masks, aim to reach the level of protection offered by an N95 respirator.

Design Studio co-directors Jenni Buckley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Whitney Sample, an industrial designer with 20 years of experience in the medical field, worked with faculty, students and clinical partners to develop a design that can be 3D-printed quickly and easily assembled with a square of filter material, such as an HVAC filter.

The design, called the HensNest, can be found on the NIH 3D Print Exchange for free, and a tutorial on how to assemble it is on YouTube:

The design was based on an open-source design by Mark Fuller at GE Additive, with the UD team adding its own innovations.

While the design is available, it has not yet been tested and is not FDA approved — but the team is proactively looking for makers interested in producing HensNest masks when the testing in done and they known the safest filter material to use.

One company, Celanese Corporation in Kentucky, already has plans to mass produce the HensNest using injection molding, according to UDaily.


If you’re interested in helping with this project, contact Jenni Buckley at or Whitney Sample at

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