A teacher has created a design which is hoped could offer relief to key workers leading the fight against coronavirus who are suffering pain from wearing protective face masks.
Strathallan School Head of Design and Technology Craig Wiles produced a template for a plastic ear guard that can be manufactured without the need for a 3D printer.
The idea came after he heard of the pain medical staff are experiencing from wearing over-ear fabric masks for up to 12 hours a day.
Mr Wiles said: “It’s been so great to see schools and businesses joining the cause to produce these full-face masks that are proving to be in such short supply, so when I heard from a friend about the doctors and nurses who are suffering pain and blistering from wearing fabric masks for extended periods, I knew there must be something we could do to help.
“Having found designs for 3D printed ear guards, I realised there must be a simpler and more accessible way to produce these for even those without a 3D printer, which is when I came up with the idea for a laser-cut design.
Now Mr Wiles has put his ear guard design online so others can join in and make more for key workers, and he says you don’t need expensive equipment to do it.
Mr Wiles added: “These can be produced at home – you don’t need a laser to cut them out, and you can use any sort of flexible plastic, like a thoroughly-washed milk carton, to cut out your own to support key workers where you are.”
Mr Wiles and his team of volunteers at the school produced enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for more than a hundred key workers over the weekend.
As well as the new ear guards they also made face masks.
The PPE has been passed on to nurses, doctors, and mountain rescue staff in Tayside.
The Strathallan team plan to continue production at the school during the rest of the Easter holidays and a plea has gone out to local businesses to donate any materials that could be used to create ear guards or masks.
The ear guard design is available on the school website.