Meriden 3D prints PPE for frontline healthcare workers

19 May 2020

Meriden is putting its 3D printing capabilities to good use during the COVID-19 pandemic by printing ear guards for frontline medical staff at Gosford Hospital. Many healthcare workers who wear facemasks throughout their shifts experience discomfort from the mask’s elastics that hook around the ears. The ear guard features specially-designed notches that secure the elastics at the back of the head, ensuring they stay in place and do not cause abrasions to the ears.

The ear guard was designed by thirteen-year-old Canadian boy, Quinn Callander, in response to an open call from his local hospital asking for solutions to alleviate the ear pain of medical staff caused by face masks. Mr Callander shared the file for the design online and individuals and organisations with 3D printers have been producing his invention for workers around the world.

Meriden has begun its contribution to the global effort with an initial donation of fifty ear guards, which were printed in The Foundry, Meriden’s dedicated STEM facility which houses two 3D printers. The items are being delivered to Gosford Hospital and will be put to work this week.

Mr Lee Brodyk, Foundry Manager, said printing the plastic bands was a simple way in which Meriden could help support those on the front lines of the healthcare crisis.

“We printed eight ear guards at a time using two printers and each batch took around two hours to complete,” he said.

“We hope that they bring greater comfort to the healthcare workers at Gosford Hospital as they go about their important work.”

Meriden’s Principal, Dr Julie Greenhalgh, said the School community is deeply grateful to all those who work to keep Australians safe.

“Australia depends on men and women who are steadfast in the face of danger in order to serve others, whether that be against fire, flood or illness. We are proud to have been able to provide this small gesture of support to our healthcare workers who have always been important to our community but are now more vital than ever,” she said.