Covid-19 Ear Savers

We were contacted last week by a Yale nurse to 3D print Ear Savers, devices designed to eliminate ear strain in those who must wear masks daily by holding the mask using the back of the wearer’s head rather than the back of their ears. 

We received feedback that our 3D printed straps were too short, could tangle in the wearer’s hair, and were just too brittle. We also found that 3D printing was simply not fast enough to keep up with demand from local hospitals, nursing homes, and healthcare facilities.

We reworked the design based on feedback to improve the experience of wearing the strap, then began mass-producing straps using our 2 laser cutters.

Currently, we can produce around 250 straps per hour between our 2 laser cutters. To date, we’ve donated over 3000 ear saver straps to 13 local hospitals, nursing homes, and healthcare facilities.

How can I help?

We are currently running a GoFundMe to get a third laser online and making straps. It can be found here.

Making T-Shirts with DIY Silk Screening Press

I have always wanted to silk screen my own t-shirts. I wont go into the nitty gritty of silk screen printing because there are hundreds of blog posts and YouTube videos on how to do it, and I am in no way, shape, or form an expert. First, we needed a press.

This is an example of one from eBay, but after reading reviews, these presses sound like they are rather low quality and are cheaply made. I found this video for a homemade 4 color press. The press was made from plans found at https://printingplans.com/ where the plans can be downloaded for free. This is what I decided to do, and it only cost a bit more than the cheap eBay presses.

Press under construction

Overall I was very happy with how the press turned out. It is much better than anything I could have bought for under $150. Next up was to make a few homemade screens. This seemed like a good idea, but was a huge pain. Just buy the 6 or 12 packs from eBay.

Homemade silk screen after exposure

After learning lessons such as the importance of mesh size and how to properly align shirts, the results began to look very professional. I’m extremely happy with what I’ve made so far, and will continue to improve, eventually working my way up to some 4 color designs.