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Brentwood 13-year-old is spending more than 17 hours a day 3D printing ear-savers for masks

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Posted at 6:46 AM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 07:48:51-04

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Brentwood Middle School student is trying to help people on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic get through the day comfortably.

For more than 17 hours each day, Sam Walker sets his 3D printer to make bands that can then be attached to the elastics on masks.

"When you put a mask on, you put it on the right loop you need, and it just takes the pressure off your ears," said Walker.

They're called ear-savers.

Walker is 3D printing them for people who have to wear masks for long periods of time. He was inspired by a post about a fellow Boy Scout in Canada doing the same thing.

"When I found this, I realized I could do this and help out in my own way," Walker said.

After delivering his first batch, the 13-year-old couldn't believe how in-demand the ear-savers are.

"One place that we reached out to said 'can you make thousands?' And we said not in any time-frame that you need," he said.

It takes almost 3.5 hours to 3D print eight ear-savers. Despite that, Sam has patiently made dozens.

"It's really important to me because I know there is a need and I just want to do my little part for that need," he said.

So far, Sam has given masks to doctors, nurses, surgeons, pharmacists and workers at a retirement home.

Sam is hopeful he becomes a local example.

"I'm just hoping to inspire people to do this because there is a large need that we can't fulfill [alone] right now," he said.

Click here to see the design Sam is using to print.