2020-05-13

Simms Settlement resident prints off needed ear savers, face shields

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>SUBMITTED PHOTO</p><p>Mat Nightingale, of Simms Settlement, wearing a face shield and holding ear protection. He made both items via 3D printing technology and donated the gear to facilities in the Chester area.</p>

A Simms Settlement resident with a deep science background used 3D printing technology to build face shields and ear savers for frontline health workers at two facilities in Chester.

Mat Nightingale, 43, a molecular biologist by profession, used his own personal printer, and two others borrowed from the Aspotogan Heritage Trust, to construct the gear, which he personally delivered to Shoreham Village and Our Health Centre.

"It feels good to do good stuff," he told LighthouseNOW for his reasoning to make the personal protective gear, along with the medical mask accessory that prevents a wearer from getting sores.

Nightingale decided to act after hearing ear savers and face protection was in high demand. Once designs and specifications were confirmed, Nightingale, who's employed with a Halifax university, got to work at home on the project. He said the items weren't very expensive to make and required a set amount of material, resulting to little or no waste when finished.

The Aspotogan Heritage Trust agreed to loan its printing gear to Nightingale after he learned Shoreham Village's needs were vast.

Before long, the 3D printers at Nightingale's home were running through the night in his basement, and for a week.

"It was noisy," he told LighthouseNOW with a laugh. "I'm a pretty deep sleeper, but some of the family would hear them going."

Two of the printers worked steadily to make face shields at a rate of one per hour. One of the borrowed units had an area too small for manufacturing face protection, so it concentrated on ear savers. Those were built at a rate of nine per hour-and-a-half.

The South Shore Regional Centre for Education even chipped-in a donation of printer filament to Nightingale when it learned what he was up to.

"I did the printing here [at home] with the kids giving me a hand," he said. "It's just a small gesture on our part."

Our Health Centre accepted a dozen of his face shields, while Shoreham Village took delivery of 162 face shields and 175 ear savers.

"Everyone's trying to do their bit," Nightingale added. "There's a lot of good will going around at the moment."

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