The prototype of Gladius Mask was developed by David Kvaternik by 3D scanning a toolshop respirator mask and his wife’s and his own face.
A VR expert and 3D enthusiast David Kvaternik, a grandson of a famous Slovenian architect Franc Kvaternik is skilled in various fields. He started modeling trains and planes while bonding with his grandfather in a woodworking workshop when he was a kid. At the age of six, he installed Windows 95 to 486 computer and received an award for GUI (graphical user interface) when he was 14. David is fascinated by history, a passion that he shared with his grandfather. When studying law, he led the development of a platform for interactive educational games for children. In 2012 David started developing virtual reconstructions of archeological parks under Yorefy brand as well as making animated videos for embedding in e-textbooks.
He has been involved with virtual reality ever since the start of the Oculus VR Kickstarter campaign, believing that this technology promises the best option for a time machine. VR is the ultimate end-medium which concepts are being developed now. In 2018, David funded a virtual reality agency involved in educating and consulting companies and executives about the technology, strategy and guidelines on applications in business as well as developing custom VR experiences. The latest project was a VR simulation of machine learning, which they developed with the Jožef Stefan Institute, Technology Park Ljubljana and the ICGEB Trieste Lab. The VR agency also develops AR experiences, video animations and special effects aiding the development with 3D laser scanning, photogrammetry and holograms.
The author of Gladius 3D respirator mask David Kvaternik has shared a post about the mask on a Facebook group Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies. In the middle of the night, Doroteja Maklin contacted David suggesting collaboration, and in the morning Aleš Pevc shared the post on his personal Facebook profile, which resulted in a viral boom in the Slovenian ecosystem. Shortly the coordination team was formed and supported by Technology Park Ljubljana and institute Zavod 404. A community of 400 3D printers and makers gathered in an open group on the Slack platform ready to help and print respirator masks.
The Initiative Protect Slovenia (Gladius in English) was born as an umbrella for various activities enabled by a pool of volunteers.
Individuals are connecting and printing 3D Gladius Friends masks for the community. They can connect through the online platform matching the demand with the supply and help each other in these times of crisis. A Mask for a friend project connects the community and encourages those with 3D printers to print the mask to themselves, their friend, mailman or neighbor.
But there is actually much more than what is seen in the public. The first mask Gladius Friends got an upgrade that was named Gladius Heroes. It was created in collaboration with dr. Blaž Pečko from Izola General Hospital in Slovenia. Gladius Heroes is developed especially for heroes, doctors and nurses in direct contact with Covid-19 patients in hospitals that take care of us and risk their lives to help the community. The respirator mask has great potential and it is currently in the test phase in Slovenia and worldwide. A recent collaboration with USA (Dr. Chris Wiles from Connecticut) has proven beneficial to share best practices and user feedback to aid future improvements.
The coordination team would like to extend our sincere thanks to each individual printing, testing, delivering, connecting, designing, writing, translating and completing so many other activities to make this initiative possible. You are Gladius!
Collaboration with educational and medical institutions (such as the University of Primorska) is being actively pursued, to develop further customized respirator masks for healthcare staff. Gladius mask undertook multiple design iterations with the latest version being currently tested by end-users in a hospital as well as other tests conducted in research labs and other organizations. Gladius respirator mask is an open-source product that encourages everybody to print their own protective respirator in a case certified equipment becomes unavailable. With the combined strengths of an interdisciplinary team of experts, we estimate that we will quickly arrive at the optimized design that will be certified tested and produced worldwide if needed.