Suddenly, facemasks are everywhere. We see people wearing them on the street or at the grocery store as they do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Members of the general public may wear facemasks for short stints of an hour or two, but what about front-line workers, particularly those in the health care sector, who must wear personal protection equipment (PPE) for the duration of a long workday? Are there unique challenges created by working long hours with a mask or visor strapped to your face? Are there other challenges in the health care work environment that could benefit from some creative thinking?
It turns out there are, and this is where Dan Ting, a Supervisor in Teknion’s Design Model Shop began thinking about solutions using the Shop’s newly acquired 3D printer.
Dan initially became aware of specialized PPE needs for healthcare workers from the design and 3D printing community as well as his wife who works in a hospital. Dan knew that Teknion’s 3D printer has the ability to print face masks components and other helpful tools to help out local Health workers. After consulting with a number of workers in local health care facilities, the accessories he is printing are:
- Surgical mask ear reliefs (stops the face mask straps from digging into the back of the ears.)
- Door opener/elevator button presser.
Dan provides the printed components and the health care facility will assemble them in an appropriate/sterile environment.
It’s amazing what one person can do through the creative use of technology.