(04/21/20) Ear guards are becoming a popular COVID-19 accessory to help relieve pressure behind the ears from masks. One Louisiana Tech student is providing this relief using her passion for 3-D printers and engineering.
“We just everyday are getting responses from people we have given them to” said Avereigh Barras, a Freshman Mechanical Engineering Student at Louisiana Tech.
She is combining her passions for engineering and helping others to make a difference during COVID-19 by making ear guards for masks.
“I made a couple and gave them to some of my friends who were nurses just to see if they even helped at all and they were like whoa these are awesome” she said.
It started there but she took it further using a donated design from a Boy Scout in Canada. Now her pieces are in demand all around the country.
“So I’ve sent to about 10 states” she said.
She uses a combo of her own and donated printers and materials. Her time is also donated, and she is not making a profit off the pieces. She uses plastics that are commonly used on 3-D printers, which are also comfortable.
“it’s called filament, it’s a roll of plastic and it kind of looks like weed eater string, it’s in that shape. and it goes into the printer and then it melts the plastic and then spits it out,. I use PLA filiment, and then one printer uses ABS, so those are just types of plastic” she said.
Now averaging 200-300 a day, totaling nearly 3,000 so far, she makes pieces 24 hours a day, resetting the printers every hour. While the design isn’t hers, she may customize them going forward to honor her faith that helped her get this idea going.
” I was just told the other day by a friend that I should put a little cross kind of endented in it, kind of engraved in it. One of our favorite sayings is if everyone does a little a lot gets done. So, I think I’m just doing my small part” she said.
She would like to send out a thank you to those who have donated printers and materials.
she has a GoFundMe set up for donations to materials, so if you would like to help her out, click here. She also says if there’s any left over money after demand goes down, it will be donated to local food banks.