Brilliant Engineers Create Ventilators out of Snorkeling Masks Amid COVID-19

As Doctors in Italy are up to their eyeballs with tens of hundreds of patients under their watch, they have to make hard decisions due to shortages in oxygen masks. 

People around the world are working hard to meet the demand for sanitizers, masks amid the pandemic, and more, and these two young Italians have astounded as all.


The two engineers had a lightbulb moment in which they found a way to create ventilators out of snorkeling masks to save more lives. 

Alessandro Romaioli and Cristian Fracassi are brilliant engineers who work at start-up firm Isinnova in a city that has been quarantined for several weeks and faced hundreds of casualties.

When they learned that the local hospital in their city Brescia had a severe shortage of valves for ventilator machines, they came together to find a solution, hoping to save more lives.


Although the firm had never created products like this before, they decided to go for it. They went downtown to the hospital to learn more about the piece, which connects the patient’s oxygen mask to the respirator.

The engineers sat down and tried various versions until they created a perfect piece! Using a 3D printing machine, they were able to bring their idea to life!


In an interview with New York Times, they explained: “Our first few attempts didn’t succeed, but eventually we made four copies of the prototype on a small 3-D printing machine that we have in our office.”

“While the valve might look like a simple piece of plastic, it’s pretty complex; the hole that diffuses the oxygen is less than a millimeter in diameter,” they continued.

The engineers proudly say that “The day after, we returned to the hospital and gave our valves to a doctor who tested them. They worked and he asked for 100 more. So we went back to the office, and returned to the hospital with 100 more.”

Their 3D model has been incredibly successful, and more hospitals in Italy are asking for more replicas! Therefore the two have been working around the clock to make more copies.

The Italian duo has been feeling overwhelmed by the success of their brilliant piece, which pushed them to create another model using valves.

They explained: “This sparked a second idea: to modify a snorkeling mask already on the market to create a ventilation-assisted mask for hospitals in need of additional equipment, which was successful when the hospital tested it on a patient in need.”
For more information about the snorkeling mask ventilators, click here.

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