Ear saver

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3D printed ear saver 3D Printed Ear Saver.jpg
3D printed ear saver

An ear saver, also known as mask strain release strap or mask extender, [1] is an accessory to personal protective equipment (PPE), relieves strain on a mask wearer's ears created through the loops of masks. Ear savers were designed as novel items during the COVID-19 pandemic by the open-source hardware community in response to requests sides medical professionals reporting heavy strain on their ears. [2] Ear savers have since been commercialized for a broader population of users as the pandemic wore on. [3] [4]



Four methods are used to manufacture ear savers: 3D printing, laser cutting, injection molding and sewing (a modified version with crocheted buttons on a headband). [5] [6] During the COVID-19 pandemic, the maker movement alone produced more than 2.2 million ear savers. [7]

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  1. Jacobs, Amber (22 July 2020). "Year 7 student's 3D-printed coronavirus face mask extenders raise funds for bushfire victims". ABC News. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  2. "DESIGN | MAKE | PROTECT" (PDF). Open Source Medical Supplies . February 22, 2021.
  3. Lord, Emma. "17 Problem-Solving Products To Make Wearing A Face Mask With Glasses Easier". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  4. Bennett, Alexis (2020-08-12). "If You Aren't Wearing One of These Ear Savers With Your Mask, Your Ears Are Missing Out". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  5. "PROJECT LIBRARY". Open Source Medical Supplies. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  6. "It's not just a fashion statement... it's an ear saver for those who wear masks often | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  7. "COVID-19 Maker Response". Nation of Makers. Retrieved 2021-02-22.