So with all the maker community involvement in making things for the medical community I was wishing there was something I could make to help out. Not having a 3D printer kind of limits me and finding relatively inexpensive sheet materials for laser cutting was also a bit of a barrier.
Then I stumbled upon surgical mask ear savers. The ear savers are basically a piece of material that allows the ear loops of the masks to connect behind the head. This saves the back of the ears from chaffing from constant wearing of these masks.
There are numerous designs out there on thingiverse, but I found this guy who designed some with motivational sayings on the back for 3D printing.
Thingiverse files here:
All the files are 3D formats, which I haven’t ever worked with, but I spent some time this morning learning how to use TinkerCad enough to convert the STL design to SVG.
Was actually pretty simple: Import .stl file, rotate so the front was facing up and parallel to the workplane, press “d” to drop the back to the surface of the workplane, click “Export” and then click “SVG”. Note, Tinkercad exports the svg with very narrow stroke (line) widths that you can’t actually see on the screen. Had to open them in inkscape, increase the stroke widths and then resave them.
Next was to find a suitable inexpensive material to cut these from. Looking around on Amazon for a flexible sheet material I found this 4 pkg of kitchen cutting mats.
They are 12x15" and ~1mm thick. Not sure what they are made from, but I suspect polypropylene or polyethylene based on similar items from other sellers. A simple water float test should help me rule out if they are PVC for some reason.
Everything sizes out just right to get 24 pieces from each 12x15" sheet. So cut the sheet in half and cut 12 from each section. So they will price out at about $0.10 each.
I ordered the mats, but I’m not sure when I’ll get them. Because, even with Prime shipping, Amazon is prioritizing shipping on more essential things. The best they promise is 4/26, but I suspect I’ll get them sometime next week. I’ll provide an update after I get the mats.