Serving where we live
What’s forming this week is some community volunteer work as our School prepares to head back into session.
Earlier this spring, front line medical workers began having to wear masks for hours at a time. The result of this was that the backs of their ears began to break down and have sores because of ear loops rubbing on them for hours at a time.
The solution that came to be was really quite simple, someone devised a simple piece of plastic that would stretch the loops a little further and thus keep them off of the wearer’s ears. What’s really remarkable is that the inventor of this ear saving device, did not apply for a patent, find the most economic factory they could and start selling them by the millions. Instead, they posted the design file on a prominent website, and made it available for anyone who wished to 3-D print as many as they desired. What’s more, other people worked to improve the design or submitted designs of their own. The result of all of this was that many people received relief for their ears as 3-D printing hobbyists went to work printing them up.
Earlier this summer, I purchased my own 3-D printer, and one of the things I have printed is some ear relief items for my own family, but there was another need I perceived. Beginning in about three weeks, there is another population that we will be asking to wear masks for long hours, day after day: teachers and students.
In response to this I have been printing up a few ear relief devices and donating them to our local school. Before beginning to print them in larger quantities, I am checking with the school to see if they are begin used and meeting an actual need. If so, I stand ready to offer my gifts to them.
I will post an update for this project in the future.
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Patrick Sipes is the founder and director of The Forming Spirit. You can learn more about him here.