Alliance PCB Solutions Wins 'America Makes' COVID Small Mask Challenge


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Alliance PCB Solutions, LLC. of Mount Pleasant, SC. is proud to announce they have been recognized as Top Design for the America Makes “Fit to Face—Mask Design Challenge” for their VADER small mask design.

In collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, “Fit to Face” was a rapid response challenge to support the ongoing shortage of safe and effective personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 frontline workers.

The challenge was met with tremendous industry and academia response and included over 600 entrants.

Top Designs

  • Alliance PCB Solutions, LLC - VADER Small
  • Carnegie Mellon University - Moldable Mask Small and Moldable Mask Large

Honorable Mention

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - Every Mask
  • Re:3D Inc. - Flex Fit Small and Flex Fit Large

Sponsored by America Makes, and driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), the solicitation requirement was to rapidly design a universal face mask that was solely manufactured using 3D print technology, conforms to any users face, and does not permit air flow pathways other than through the filter element.

America Makes provided five different head scans, compliments of CDC-NIOSH (Centers for Disease Control National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health), to use as models for the design creation. Mike Brown, CTO of Alliance PCB Solutions utilized a myriad of design tools to combine all five scans and create a common scan merging common points across the multiple face structures and then created a mesh model and a final design from Fusion-360 software. A hybrid combination of rigid, flexible and Ninja flex 3D materials were used in the construction. The mask assembles in 30 seconds and is completely reusable after proper cleaning and P95 filter replacement.

Alliance PCB Solutions, LLC., and their subsidiary operation, Alliance-3D, LLC., accomplished the mask design, 3-D printing of the device and application submission over the course of just five days.

Further testing will be completed by the Veterans Administration and National Institutes of Health to review for clinical testing and/or optimized for broader community use.

Alliance PCB Solutions, LLC. and Alliance-3D, LLC. are woman-owned small businesses (WOSB), and led by CEO Sara Heck. She commented “this was an especially important challenge to us at Alliance as it represented an opportunity to contribute significantly to protecting our frontline workers against COVID-19. Although it required that we diverted away from our core mission for a week and required capital expenditures and materials expense, our response to the challenge was instinctive and immediate. Our customers were also very understanding and supportive of this initiative. We are extremely proud of the accomplishment and very appreciative of the opportunity provided by America Makes to contribute to our country’s COVID response.”

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