BENDIGO: A Bendigo secondary school is using 3D printing technology to make more than 300 “ear savers” masks for frontline healthcare workers.

A group of students at Girton Grammar School, who have parents who work in healthcare, wanted to help.  Head of technology and academic services at the school, Rod Smith, began the project involving the students during the first stage 3 lockdown.

“It was a common thread that the issues associated with having to wear a face mask all day, every day, meant that parents were coming home with discomfort around the back of the ears,” Smith said.

Using 3D printers and recyclable ABS plastic, they have manufactured masks that can be sterilised and reused. The small plastic clips hold the mask on from the back of the head, removing the need to loop the elastic around the ears.

“We’ve got more than a dozen 3D printers sitting at the school and it was a fairly simple leap to say ‘well, let’s actually put these printers to good use,” Smith said.