Cool Face Mask turns into over-designed headaches

Seeing his wife trying to use a cool face mask to overcome the pain of a migraine, [Sparks and Code] started thinking about ways to improve the situation. The desire to save her from these debilitating bouts of pain drove him to make an actively cooled mask, while creating his own headache from an over-engineered mess.

The empty spaces inside the printed mask are filled with chilled water.

Instead of having to put the face mask in the fridge to chill it, [Sparks and Code] wanted to build a mask that he could circulate chilled water through. With a large enough reservoir filled with ice, he figured the mask should be able to stay at a soothing temperature for hours, reducing the need to go to the fridge.

[Sparks and Code] started by using photogrammetry to get a 3D model of his wife’s face. The lack of a compatible computer and a CUDA-enabled GPU meant using Google Cloud to do the heavy lifting. When they started making the face mask, things got complicated. And then came the unnecessary electronics. Then the instrumentation too complicated and completely useless. Theā€¦ genetic algorithms? Yes. Those too.

We won’t spoil the ending – but suffice it to say, [Sparks and Code] learned a cold and hard lesson: simpler is better! Then again, sometimes being overly complicated is kind of the point, like in this overly complex chewing gum machine.

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