Our challenge was to design something that would help people with trigeminal neuralgia not have as much pain as they do now. We decided to try to design a product to stop the cold wind from hitting the peoples’ faces. Our goal was to make this product user friendly, as well as adaptable to cover different parts of the face depending on where the pain is. Both Jonah and I were inspired by the design of over the ear headphones for use in our product, and we ended up using the design as part of our final product. I had drawn a sketch of what we wanted the product to look like on the face, and for the most part we made a mask that matches my sketch.
Our first prototype was of half of the mask, and it was mainly just for figuring out what shapes the face pieces of our mask should be. We ended up having to cut all of the pieces and tape them onto the ear pieces in order for them to stay of one’s face. This prototype fit peoples’ heads well, but it didn’t stay on because there was only half of a mask and no strap to hold the mask to one’s head. The mask was also made of cardboard which made it to malleable and not sturdy enough.
Our second prototype was a full mask, which made it stay on peoples’ heads, but it was too large for most people. This mask also was made of cardboard that made it bend easily. By using pins to hold the face pieces to the ear pieces we were able to make the second mask modular, but this system was very cumbersome because the pins had to be taken out in order to move the face pieces. Our second prototype lead us to realize how our mask was industrial looking with its sharp corners.
Our final product is more conforming to the face, and it has a nicer more natural feel that comes from its flowing curved corners. We 3D printed the face pieces in order to get the curved shape, and the earpieces are cut out of wood. Our method for connecting the pieces has also been improved, using screws to put everything together instead of pins. Our final product needs some improvements though. It would be nice if we could have 3D printed the ear pieces, and having made the sizing of the face pieces adjustable to different face sizes would had made our mask much better. Since we only had three days for this studio though, we think that we did a pretty good job on this mask.
One 1 in 1500 to 2000 people have trigeminal neuralgia that affects their daily life. Since one of the main triggers for the pain in these peoples' faces is wind, we decided to make a modular mask that shields affected parts of the face from the cold gusts of wind that people encounter on a daily basis during the colder seasons. Because different people with trigeminal neuralgia have pain on different places of the face, our mask is made up of seven parts that cover the face, and two earpieces to hold the pieces to the head. Each of the seven pieces can be taken out of the earpiece, depending on where the nerve damage is located on the person's face. This means that our mask can be altered to fit almost anyone's needs. By making this mask, we aim to try to solve the problem of wind hitting the faces of people with trigeminal neuralgia because if the problem does not get solved then the affected people will not be able to get around and do what they need to get done.