Chesapeake teen uses 3D printer to make mask tension relievers for front line workers

Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Many people across Hampton Roads have been making masks and sending them to those in need.

One 15-year-old, Nathan Babcock, took things a step further for those who wear them for long periods of time.

“Just from that resting on the ears over time it starts to wear on them and it causes people to constantly reach up and touch their ears touch their face and try to manipulate the mask,” explained Nurse Manager Valerie Jordan at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center.

Babcock is a member of the robotics team at Hickory High School.

One of his favorite parts of being on the team: making things with the 3D printer.

He enjoys it so much, he got his own printer.

He has been making cool items from the plastic spools ever since, and recently has been making “tension relievers” for masks.

 The connector attaches to the mask straps on the left and right sides and rests on the back of the head, taking the tightness from behind the wearer’s ears.

“When I saw another Boy Scout in Canada making using 3D-printed parts, I thought it was a good idea since they need help and I have experience of wearing safety glasses all day and that really hurts your ears,” said Babcock.

Wednesday morning, he donated 50 of them to front line workers at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center.

He says each one takes about 30 minutes to make.

“It’s really great knowing I can help out in a small way from just staying at home in quarantine,” Babcock said.

Nurse manager of step down and nursing support teams Valerie Jordan says her team is going to be ecstatic.

“They’ll be like ‘this is great’ because you see nurses with the indentations of the mask on their face and for long wear it gets bothersome… A few less headaches a lot more smiling faces,” Jordan said.

Babcock says he plans on making many more in the future.

He also says he has friends on his robotics team who can help with that.


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