I’ve tried to find ways to make a difference. In the beginning, when Personal Protection Equipment was at a premium, I found 3D-printing patterns for N95 equivalent masks. They took about 2-1/2 hours to print and required me to find filter material (I cut up air conditioner filters) and elastic (at a premium at the time but I found some at my local hardware store) and offered them to health care professionals in New Mexico, California and Arizona. Ultimately, I had no takers (lawyers may have been involved) ….
Then my 3D printing mentor, who built my 3D printers and whose wife is a nurse, found a pattern for “ear savers.”
What are ear savers? If you have to wear a mask all day, you know how the strings that fit around your ears begin to wear on the backs of your ears. For those of us who only wear masks occasionally, it’s not a big deal, but think about wearing a mask all day, every day.
I can print 6 of these simple ear savers at a time in 2-1/2 hours on my Cerberus 3D 400. It’s been a great way to use up filament scraps, so I have them in a rainbow of colors. Any time I have a minute, I start a print and let it run, so I have plenty to share with people who are tired of their ears hurting!
It’s the least I can do for others who are doing their best to help us and to end this pandemic.
I’ve given ear savers to my mother to share with the staff at her independent living center. I also share them with people who work at dentist and doctor offices whenever I’ve visited.
If you know anyone who can use some ear savers, please let me know – it’s just a small way I can people during these demanding times.