3D-Printing Teen Makes Hundreds of Ingenious Devices to Alleviate Ear Pain for Healthcare Workers

A 12-year-old Canadian boy has come up with a brilliant way to support healthcare workers on the frontlines of the novel coronavirus outbreaks—all without leaving the safety of his home.

Quinn Callander was first inspired to start his labor of love after a family friend working at a local hospital expressed their wish for an “ear guard”—a small, simple contraption that alleviates the physical aches of medical face masks by alleviating the pressure of the elastic bands on the wearer’s ears.

After finding a few ear guard templates online, Quinn used his 3D-printer to make several different versions of the device for his friend to test. Once they identified the most efficient  design, he made dozens of the devices for local hospital workers in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

Upon realizing the game-changing impact of his donations, however, Quinn decided to keep making the ear guards.

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Since he responded to the Facebook post in early April, Quinn has distributed hundreds of plastic ear guards to hospitals across Canada, the US, the UK, and even Singapore.

Quinn’s proud mother, Heather Roney, told The Globe and Mail that they have been flooded with requests since she posted a picture of the youngster displaying his creations to social media.

“We’ve heard from thousands of people who say, ‘This is the difference between working your 12-hour shift comfortably and being in constant pain,’ because of pressure on their ears,” said Roney. “It’s so simple, but it’s incredibly effective.”

Not only have the photos been shared thousands of times, they have inspired other 3D-printing enthusiasts from around the world to print their own ear guards. Roney recently wrote on Twitter that the 3D-printing design Quinn used for the ear guard has been downloaded more than 48,000 times. Manufacturing companies have even picked up the design and challenged other businesses to do the same.

However, Quinn doesn’t have plans of stopping his mission any time soon.

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“I feel like we’ll keep doing this as long as we can,” Quinn told Narcity. “We’ll keep on doing this either until we run out of materials or until this whole thing blows over.”

This is just one of many positive stories and updates that are coming out of the COVID-19 news coverage this week. For more uplifting coverage on the outbreaks, click here.

(WATCH the interview below)

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