Boy Scout 3D Prints ‘Ear Guards’ to Help Relieve Hospital Workers’ Pain Caused by Face Masks

To guard themselves against COVID-19, medical staff and grocery store clerks have to wear face masks from the beginning to the end of their shifts. The tension from the elastic, however, can make their ears sore. But these vital front-line professions are now getting some relief thanks to 13-year-old Quinn Callander and his 3D-printed “ear guards.” The simple yet ingenious design is a notched strap that sits on the back of a person's head. When wearing a mask, the elastic bands are looped around the notches on either side of the guard; this ensures that they stay in place while not rubbing the backside of the ears.

Callander, a Boy Scout living in Canada, responded to an open call from a local hospital asking if anyone could help alleviate the pain caused by the masks. “He got busy on his 3D printer,” his mom, Heather Roney, shared on Facebook, “and has been turning out dozens of ear guards to donate.”

It turns out that it’s been a lot more than dozens. Since perfecting his design, Callander shared the plans on the 3D printing site Thingiverse where he gave an update on the project. “In one week I've personally produced over 1,300 straps, 1,215 have gone to a few hospitals in my region where they seem to be really appreciated,” he wrote. “A volunteer group that I'm contributing to in the Vancouver BC area has delivered over 3,300 straps including mine. So seek out your local health care providers, ask if this would help them, and get your printers going!”

If you have a 3D printer and want to help support front-line workers, download the file through Thingiverse.

A 13-year-old Boy Scout named Quinn Callander has created a 3D printed ear guard that helps alleviate the pain caused by wearing face masks for too long.

3D Printed Ear Guard

Photo: Thingverse

After responding to an open call from a local hospital, Callander got to work printing.

The ear guards are a huge help. If you want to make your own to donate, Callander has posted the file for free download on Thingiverse.

3D Printed Ear Guard

Photo: Thingverse

h/t: [Reddit]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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