Grace College students team up to provide 3D-printed ear guards for medical workers

Photo via Grace College

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace College engineering students Erin Lawhon and Abbott Joy are 3D printing ear guards and donating them to medical workers who are at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawhon said that the inspiration for 3D printing the ear guards came from article she read about a boy scout in Canada who did the same thing.

That is when Lawhon realized that she could do something to help the community.

“I immediately had the idea that Grace should use their 3D printers to get involved in the effort,” said Lawhon. “But then I thought, ‘I’m in Ohio. I can’t do anything to help,' but when I remembered that Abbott was still in Winona Lake, I knew that he would spearhead the initiative.”

She brought the idea to fellow student Abbott Joy, who was immediately on board with helping her.

“Given the number of people we can help and the amount of time this takes, there’s no justifiable reason not to help,” Joy said.

Joy and Lawhon then contacted Dr. Fred Wentorf, the chair of the engineering program at Grace College, and soon the operation was underway.

The two have now produced over 100 ear guards, and many have already been donated to the Fellowship Missions in Warsaw.

“Sixty-three of the guards have already been donated to Fellowship Missions, a nonprofit in Warsaw that helps homeless individuals and families, and I sent three of them to my sister who is a CNA in Maine,” said Joy.

Joy and Lawhon plan to produce over 200 ear guards per week. They are asking anyone to contact them if they are in need of these supplies. Erin Lawhon can be reached at engineering@grace.edu.

The project is being funded by the Grace College Department of Engineering.

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