Covid-19 champions: a 3D printing hobby offering a solution to fog up glasses when wearing masks
DAVID UNWIN / Tips
Ben Robertson found the original design of the clips on a 3D printing enthusiast forum and experimented with some of his own tweaks to make them more comfortable.
A man from Palmerston North has dedicated considerable resources and all of his free time to help his community and make wearing masks less embarrassing.
Wind farm technician Ben Robertson has started 3D printing nose clips, which prevent glasses from fogging up when wearing masks, at home during the last lockdown.
Every day, he works 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. while his printers are running during the day, then sorts all the clips in order and spends three to four hours distributing them to anyone in the community who needs them.
Robertson has produced over 3,000 so far, and all he asked in return was a small contribution to cover the costs of the bundles he gives to healthcare workers.
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Robertson took to 3D printing as a hobby and bought his first printer about nine months ago.
He enjoyed tinkering with it, making household items and toys for his children
Robertson said it started when he saw an article on Neighborly from someone asking how to keep their glasses from fogging up when wearing a mask, and there were 15 or 20 responses from other people who had the same problem.
“I thought there must be a solution to this, and then I found people online who designed these clips.”
Robertson experimented and tweaked the design to make it more comfortable, and began its first production.
He expected maybe two dozen people to respond, instead he set off a flood and in less than two weeks had printed and distributed 540 clips.
Robertton said the number of orders increased as the news spread, as did the size when people started asking for jackpots to distribute to colleagues and friends.
“I thought I would bite more than I can chew, but I thought I had to stay true to my word and keep helping people. “
Robertson bought three more 3D printers to keep pace and started asking for a small donation per clip to cover costs.
“It’s just $ 2.50 a clip, but that also covers the cost of two more clips that will be donated to the community.”
He planned to make a regular donation to MidCentral DHB and any community groups that needed it.
Ex-nurse Sue O’Sullivan was one of the first people Robertson gave the nose clips to.
“They make a huge difference … they would have been fantastic to have when I was in the operating rooms”
O’Sullivan said that before she started using the clips, her glasses would fog up so she couldn’t read labels, or check her shopping list or phone.
She chatted with Robertson, after donating all of her spare parts and ordering two more lots, and learned the magnitude of her efforts.
“I was blown away by his kindness and generosity.”
Robertson wasn’t looking to be recognized or rewarded, but he deserved it, she said.
So she wrote a message thanking him on behalf of the community as part of Neighborly’s Simple Things campaign.
- Nose clips can be ordered from www.art-isan.co.nz.