Schoolgirls’ 3D-printed ear guards in use at Gosford Hospital

Meriden’s Foundry Manager, Lee Brodyk, with the ear guards he printed at the school

It might seem an unlikely partnership, but a Sydney girls’ school has put its 3D capabilities to good use by printing ear guards for frontline medical staff at Gosford Hospital.

Principal of Meriden Anglican School for Girls, Dr Julie Greenhalgh, said 50 of the ear guards, which were printed in the school’s dedicated STEM facility, The Foundry, had already been delivered to the hospital.

Greenhalgh said many healthcare workers who wear facemasks throughout their shifts experience discomfort from the masks’ elastics which hook around the ears.

The ear guard features specially designed notches that secure the elastics at the back of the head, ensuring they stay in place and do not cause abrasions to the ears.

The guard was designed by 13-year-old Quinn Callander from Canada, who shared the file for the design online.

The Foundry Manager, Lee Brodyk, said printing the plastic bands was a simple way in which Meriden could help support those on the front lines of the healthcare crisis.

“We printed eight ear guards at a time using two printers and each batch took around two hours to complete,” he said.

“We hope that they bring greater comfort to the healthcare workers at Gosford Hospital as they go about their important work.”

Brodyk is an acquaintance of Gosford Respiratory and Sleep Physician Dr Matthew Sandeman, who expressed a need for the ear guards at Gosford Hospital.

After testing a few prototypes and going through necessary protocols with the hospital’s Manager of Fundraising and Donations, it was decided that Meriden was fit to produce and donate 50 guards to the hospital.

Greenhalgh said the school community was deeply grateful to all those who work to keep Australians safe.

“Australia depends on men and women who are steadfast in the face of danger in order to serve others, whether that be against fire, flood or illness,” she said.

“We are proud to have been able to provide this small gesture of support to our healthcare workers who have always been important to our community but are now more vital than ever.”

Media release and media statement, May 19
Meriden Anglican School for Girls

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