The Canadian Scouts' motto is, "Do your best." And that's just what Quinn Callander, 12, has done. He lives in a suburb of Vancouver, Canada, and heard a local hospital asking for help to solve a unique problem. Healthcare workers had serious ear pain after wearing masks for long shifts. So Quinn put his 3D printer to use.
He developed a simple but effective "ear guard" that prevents the elastic bands on masks from rubbing against the backs of people's ears. He prototyped several designs with his 3D printer, eventually using a wide plastic strap that fits around the head. The strap is notched so the wearer can loop the mask's elastic straps around the most comfortable notches, adjusting the tension while keeping the mask firmly in place.
Quinn had made the strap's design available for others to download from the open-source 3D printing community Thingiverse. Since last March, he's produced more than 1,700 straps, most of which have gone to hospitals in the Vancouver area.
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