While we at VIVISTOP Orchard continue to look at ways we can contribute to the community during this time, it has been extremely heartening to know that our members themselves have also been really passionate about giving back in their own way, through ear savers!
Recently one of our members Chris dropped us a message. He asked us if we were able to help propel his idea forward of printing 3D ear savers (a thin plastic strip to remove pressure from the elastic band around the ears of face masks) to donate to front line healthcare workers during this time. Chris had come across a social media post of a Canadian Scout who was 3D printing ear savers and passing them on to hospitals. He thought it would be something useful for our front liners in Singapore too as they are busy working hard to keep the country safe. He felt compelled to do his part too to help. Though just a small gesture, the outcome is infinitely beneficial as it definitely lessens the discomfort and removes strain on the ears of our healthcare workers who have to constantly be masked up at all times.
After hearing his request, we were very happy to support him in any way we could. We immediately sprung into action on turning his idea into reality. Chris also inspired us a lot by taking matters into his own hands, having already readily prepared a template design as well as arranging for fundraising donations to support his cause.
When Chris came to us, he asked us if he could use our facilities to print the ear savers, and asked us for a price quotation. He used our 3D printers at VIVISTOP Orchard when he visited us. Unfortunately with the circuit breaker measures, we cannot access the space and we cannot bulk print at VIVISTOP. We quickly moved on to Plan B which was to source for other commercial 3D printing suppliers that could help.
We went out to the maker community, spreading the word around to see who could help. It was in good faith that we found product designer Royston Phang. He was very kind and very quickly involved his printing company contact to help us out with Chris’s request.
While some changes had to be made to the design, the communication between both Chris and Royston went very smoothly. Royston was very helpful in navigating Chris through the price points of the different design options. We eventually recommended Chris the above functional “fishbone” design that Chris took to very immediately. Chris also wanted to add a personal touch to the ear saver. We decided to add the “Stay Strong” message onto it.
After settling on the design, it didn’t take long until we send the first batch to print! As this initiative was time-sensitive, Chris really wanted to get it out as soon as possible. After the first batch went out, in fact, we got word from him that many people have reached out to him and they are already going in for a second reprint!
Of course, we fully support him in his cause! In fact, even though we didn’t manage to print the ear savers in bulk at our stop, individually on our own our crew Abel manage to print a small batch from his own home too. These will be donated in kind and we hope our little contribution will go a long way.
Reflecting on this, even though everything moved so fast, Chris was very happy and motivated. He felt very involved and that his voice was heard throughout the planning and production process. Even though it started as a small idea, no one gave up on it. We constantly looked at alternatives together. We heavily involved him in the decision-making process by always checking for his opinions, from the design to the materials. That is what truly counts right. And that to him was very encouraging. He feels like he was truly contributing towards helping the community.
On our end, we feel that is the truest way for us to support a child’s idea. No idea is too big or too small. We will support our members in turning any idea into reality together!
This batch of ear savers is blessed by Chris and will go out to our front liners working in essential services. Some of which include those in the Medical, F&B, logistics, delivery, factory line, and of course not forgetting all our heartland uncles and aunties working in hawker centres and petrol stations. We thank them for tirelessly working while we stay home. So let us do our part to keep them safe too!
Below, a personal message and video from Chris himself 🙂
If there is anyone who would like to make a request for Ear Savers or if you know of any beneficiaries that might be in need, or otherwise if you’d like to just donate to this cause, please kindly fill in this google form by 30 May, thank you! Together we can make a difference, however big or small. We just need to start 🙂
At the same time, you can also read about another project that we are working on for the community as well. Let’s make the world a better place!