Kamloops family using 3D printers to create mask clips for healthcare workers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops family using 3D printers to create mask clips for healthcare workers

This 3D printer is being used to create mask clips for healthcare workers.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Shelley Ford
April 05, 2020 - 1:40 PM

A Kamloops family is putting their 3D printers to good use by helping healthcare workers protect their ears.

Shelley Ford said her two sons Nathan and Corey Wallace are using their 3D printers to create mask clips after she passed along a news article to them about people making similar items in Vancouver. Her daughter in-law Heather Wallace is also making and packaging them.

“I said ‘you guys should do this for us,’ and it just (took off,)” she said.

As of Saturday, April 4, they’ve made about 300 clips, which workers can use to attach their masks, saving their ears. They’ve only been printing them for the past few days, Ford said.

READ MORE: B.C.'s health minister says it's wrong for US to prevent 3M from sending N95 masks to Canada

Since the demand for clips is so high, they're asking others in Kamloops with 3D printers to donate their time and materials to make the clips, she said. They've been paying for materials out of their own pocket.

Using rolls of plastic, the printers follow a design. It takes a few hours to make about eight clips, she said. “They’re trying to figure out how to speed up the process.”

She said she was contacted by a nurse's union who could use them for roughly 4,000 nurses, she said. Currently, the team is distributing the clips to Kamloops healthcare workers at the hospital and at care homes.

“They’ve been printing every minute that they can,” she said.

READ MORE: Super stitchers unite to create masks for health care workers

“I’ve been more surprised than anything. At first we thought that hey, maybe 200 to 300 people may want to try them out, but knowing how many people are at the hospital and around town having to wear these masks their whole shift, their ears are getting sore,” Ford said. “They just wanted to help out where they could.”

If anyone in the Okanagan has a 3D printer that wants to start up in that region, they can send over the pattern, she said.

If you are a Kamloops healthcare worker in need of a clip, Ford can be contacted at shelley.ford26@gmail.com.


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