Facebook | Heather Roney

Boy Scout 3D Prints Guards To Protect Healthcare Workers' Ears From Masks

Ryan Ford 6 Apr 2020

Front line healthcare workers need all the help they can get right now, with an unprecedented illness filling up hospitals and requiring the construction of more makeshift hospital space to accommodate all the COVID-19 patients.

To be sure, healthcare workers are doing their very best in these challenging times, and the public at large are doing everything they can to support them.

Nurses and doctors and janitors are in the line of danger for hours on end every time they go to work.

Reddit | sadafba786

It's not just the sheer number of patients causing difficulties, but the nature of the virus and shortages of PPE.

With healthcare workers forced to wear their protective gear for hours and hours at a time, many have been posting images of their faces after their shifts have ended showing the creases and bruises they've endured.

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That's why Quinn Roney decided to step up.

Facebook | Heather Roney

According to a Facebook post by his mom, Heather, the young Canadian Boy Scout heard a request from local hospitals for "ear guards" to help out healthcare workers. The masks they have to wear haven't just been leaving creases on their faces, but chafing behind their ears.

So, Quinn broke out his 3D printer and got down to work.

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The ear guard is basically just a plastic strap that provides an alternative place to loop the masks.

Facebook | Heather Roney

Quinn found some plans on Thingiverse, tweaked to use a bit less material and make them print faster.

That page's owner wrote that in his first week of producing the straps, he had delivered 1215 of them to local hospitals, "where they seem to be really appreciated."

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More important than the guards he's produced so far might be the awareness Quinn has created.

Facebook | Heather Roney

Heather's Facebook post has been shared more than 310,000 times so far, and it includes a link to the plans Quinn has been using.

"We need more volunteers to fire up their 3D printers and donate these ear guards to hospitals and medical professionals," Heather wrote in her post.

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So, the message has been getting out there.

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One person noted that they had shared Quinn's work with their 3D printing group, who had since started churning out the guards for their own local hospitals.

With so many people producing the guards, just think of all the healthcare workers who might get to spend a shift in considerably less discomfort.

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And the efforts of Quinn and the 3D printing community are definitely appreciated.

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"That's awesome little guy. Yes they do bother my ears," one person commented on Heather's post.

"As someone who works in healthcare I can say that this is fantastic! When we wear them constantly all day everyday, they actually start to cut into the back of our ears," commented another.

h/t: Facebook | Heather Roney

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