Preston Haynes is designing a face mask that won’t fog up and allows a person’s full face to be seen. Courtesy / Patrick Walker Russell

PORTLAND — Preston Haynes is working on the final design of a mask that allows the wearer’s full face to be seen and doesn’t fog up.

Haynes, a former maker of aeronautical parts, has been tinkering with prototypes of the face mask since March when the coronavirus was declared a worldwide pandemic.

“I thought, ‘How can I make a good mask that people would want to wear that showed your entire face and you’d still feel protected?'” said Haynes, who worked in Long Island, New York, before moving back to Maine a year ago.

“It has come a long way,” the Portland resident said.

Haynes has made half a dozen prototypes, including the first that looked like a space helmet. Although there is a “big sense of urgency” for masks and face coverings now, he said, he won’t bring his mask to market until it is just right.

Preston Haynes hopes to have his masks available to the public soon, but not before he is completely satisfied with the design. Courtesy / Patrick Walker Russell

With cases of COVID-19 increasing across the state — 3,767 Cumberland County residents have been afflicted between March and Nov. 28 — Gov. Janet Mills has mandated the use of masks in public regardless of social distancing. Wearing masks can help slow the transmission of the virus, which can be spread through respiratory droplets, but it makes it difficult for those who are deaf or hard of hearing to read lips and for everyone in general to read facial expressions.


Haynes’ latest design consists of a face shield top that is attached to a cloth bottom that encloses “your entire face and there is a fan in there for good air flow.”

The masks will be named in honor of his father, William Haynes, who died suddenly in March. William Haynes, his son said, was a “pillar” of the Waterford community and served as a volunteer firefighter and the town’s code enforcement officer.

Haynes said he couldn’t have made it this far without the support of his fellow members at at Factory 3, a makerspace on St. James Street that provides access to tools and equipment, as well as a wood shop, metal shop, bicycle repair shop, 3D printers, private studios and common work areas.

“They are so inspirational,” he said. “People are so dedicated to their craft.”

Patrick Walker Russell, who started Factory 3 last year, said he is proud of the work Haynes is doing.

“I am excited to see where this goes,” he said. “It is very needed right now.”

Haynes said it takes a 3D printer just over 24 hours to create the plastic components of the mask. He is hoping to find ways to make that process quicker and more efficient.

Russell said Factory 3 has helped to connect Haynes to a manufacturing consultant.

“We help build connections for them not to just make stuff, but to get it out in the world,” Russell said.

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