18 Oct 2021

Kiwi hobbyist's 3D anti-fog noseclips in demand

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:31 pm on 18 October 2021

A self-described "3D printer hobbyist" in Palmerston North has come up with a solution for wearing a mask without fogging up your glasses.

You can check them out here, where Ben Robertson sells some and also give some back to the community free of charge.

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Photo: Supplied.

Robertson tells Jesse Mulligan he's been into it 3D printing for about a year and has become passionate about it.

"When I walk through my daily routine, everything I'm looking at I'm thinking 'hey, I could 3D print that' or whenever I'm faced with a problem I'm thinking 'oh I'm sure I could 3D print a solution'.

"Recently our clothesline broke, a little edge on the corner that held the bracket up, so in 30 minutes of me seeing it broken I designed and printed a little L shaped bracket.

"I printed a few toys off for the kids."

One day while browsing online, he saw someone in his Palmerston North community group who complained about their glasses fogging up because of their mask.

And the responses underneath the post were accumulating, Robertson says.

"Fortunately, I don't have to wear glasses, my wife does. So I asked her have you been experiencing this too, and of course she said yeah it's a real problem.

"So, I thought once again, hey I'm sure I can come up with a solution with a 3D printer and that's how it all came to life."

While going through online forums where other 3D-printing innovators share their ideas, he says he came across people overseas who had come up with nose clips for masks.

"Initially, I did print off one of the clips readily available online but what I found with that clip is it wasn't very comfortable, and it wasn't very durable.

"I probably spent a good 100 hours designing my own clip and went through about 50 or 60 different prototypes in the process before I found the one that I thought this is perfect, I don't need to go any further."

The little plastic clip sits along the bridge of the nose and underneath the mask, firmly holding its place with tabs that go outside the mask.

It usually is a good size as is for most people, he says, however they can reshape it if needed.

"Basically you get some really hot water and drop the nose clip in the water for a couple of seconds, spoon it out, of course take care not to burn yourself, and just place it on the bridge of your nose and press it on down so it's moulded to the shape of your nose."

He has donated 2000 to the community so far and made another 12,000 that will be given out in the next two weeks.

"Our aim is to get these out to every hospital, every healthcare centre, every GP, any healthcare worker who is working on the frontline, we want them to have these clips and to not have to pay for it.

"We've had the support of so many New Zealanders here, so for every clip that is bought, we're able to then donate a further two back into the community, that's how we're running this.

"The biggest thing for us is getting our name out there and getting people to hear about us because the great thing about Kiwis is Kiwis love to help Kiwis."

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