Finding the Helpers: CDA Library 3D prints protective straps for healthcare workers

3d Print Face Mask Strap

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — The Coeur d’Alene Public Library is 3D-printing protective straps for healthcare workers who wear face masks all day.

For medical workers, wearing well-fitted surgical masks are mandatory, but the Library says that those masks, which stretch around the ear with elastic bands, can be painful over a long shift.

The Coeur d’Alene Public Library’s new project is meant to provide some relief, as they have already been 3D-printing face masks. Library Director Bette Ammon asked IT Coordinator Christopher Brannon to begin printing the ear-protecting straps, based on a design found on Thingiverse.

These straps have been approved by the U.S. National Institute of Health, and are even cleared for use in healthcare work.

The Library’s largest 3D printer is now tasked with producing these straps, which was purchased through grants from the Friends of the Library and the Library Foundation.