3D printers
photo by Vyla Grindberg

UCC’s 3D Printers Creating Mask Connectors

Two of the four 3D printers at UCC are being put to use for creating mask connectors. These connectors are available in the Laverne Murphy Student Center for students, staff, and members of the community. Loops of face masks are placed on the connectors on the back of the head in order to protect the ears from damage.

In honor of National Nurses Month, ASUCC President Jesika Barnes suggested creating mask connectors to honor those working in the field. The Engineering Club President and ASUCC Business Manager Vyla Grindberg took on the project and began creating the connectors. “Originally Jesika wanted the back to say ‘Hero’ which looked really cool, but we couldn’t do that with the printers that we had,” Grindberg said. 

photo by Vyla Grindberg

The design for the connectors was found on www.thingiverse.com (Links to an external site.). Grindberg ran into trouble at first, “the first models we tried to make were breaking and un-adhering too to quickly from the base and failing,” she said. Then she found a design that was better suited for UCC’s 3D Printer models, the Makerbot Replicator+. Grindberg was able to resource spools, the filament used to create 3D printing projects from engineering students and professor Clay Baumgardner. Each connector is worth ten cents and Grindberg has spent ten hours creating them. 

UCC has four Makerbot Replicator+s’s on campus, however one is currently having issues. The printers are typically kept in the technology building in TC 104, because they are a part of the engineering technology classrooms, however this term they are in the student center.. Baumgartner maintains the printers and allowed Grindberg to use them for the project. 

photo by Vyla Grindberg

“We wanted to make masks but the Makerbot is not able to do that. ASUCC have talked about getting an educational level printer which would help with future projects but due to budget cuts we’ve put that on the backburner for the time being,” Grindberg says. “The students do utilize these printers for all sorts of different things such as making miniatures and making proper mechanical engineering pieces. This seemed like a perfect use of the 3D printers to be able to help others.”

If students, staff or community members are interested in getting a connector please call ahead at (541)440-4600 to pick one up at the student center.

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