Coronavirus: Boy makes PPE mask adjusters with 3D printer

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Dan and Debbie HarveyImage source, Debbie Harvey
Image caption,
Debbie Harvey, pictured with Dan, said her son was "thrilled" to help

A 14-year-old boy has used his 3D printer to produce more than 600 adjusters to make PPE masks more comfortable for health workers.

Dan Harvey, from Birmingham, was inspired to help after hearing of ear pain caused by the face coverings.

With help from his parents, Dan, who has Asperger's syndrome, has now distributed hundreds of the adjusters to teams.

Debbie Harvey said her son was "thrilled" to be able to help.

The mother-of-three said her son thought of the idea after she told him about an online post she had read about people crocheting adjusters for nurses struggling with elastic bands on ears.

"He said instead of crocheting could we not 3D print something.

"We got hold of an existing pattern, but it didn't suit his machine, so he designed one from scratch. We've been printing them ever since and provided 610."

Image source, Debbie Harvey
Image caption,
The adjusters allow the elastic to be held behind the head, instead of around the ears

Recipients have included the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, GP surgeries and care homes, including Audley St George's Place Retirement Village in the city.

Mrs Harvey said they had been "over the moon" with the adjuster and the family were now curating a lockdown scrap book diary for Dan, which features responses and photographs from health workers.

She said her son had "a lot of empathy" and wanted to "help in a crisis".

"He is so into his tech," she added. "He really likes to be practical and helpful and if he can be practical and helpful together he thinks it's fantastic."

Image source, Debbie Harvey
Image caption,
The teenager designed his own pattern from scratch

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