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Way to Go! Merrick student makes face-mask clips on 3D printer

Shane Prussack, a first-grader at Norman J. Levy

Shane Prussack, a first-grader at Norman J. Levy Lakeside Elementary School in Merrick, created more than 250 face-mask strap accessories using his 3D printer. Credit: Merrick School District

A Merrick student used his home printer to help senior citizens and essential workers feel more comfortable amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Shane Prussack, a first-grader at Norman J. Levy Lakeside Elementary School, recently created more than 250 facial-mask strap accessories on his 3D printer for donation to a local nursing home, Stony Brook University Hospital, and a Northwell Health microbiology lab in Little Neck.

The accessory is a plastic "S"-shaped clip that is designed to comfortably hold a mask's straps in place behind the user's head.

"I'm happy to share them," Shane, 7, said of the clips. "Wearing a mask all day can be really hard."

Shane said he was inspired to create the clips after a Stony Brook nurse shared with his father, Andrew, how many health care workers find their facial protection uncomfortable to wear during long shifts at the hospital. 

The clips are created using a "hard plastic lanyard" that is ultimately melted down and reformed by the printer, according to his mother, Haley. "Shane loves making things on his Toybox 3D printer and he wanted to create something to pass along to give back to other people," Haley said.

In addition to helping senior citizens and essential workers, Shane has printed personalized clips for his peers and continues to print more clips in various colors and designs, the school said.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT