JAMESTOWN, Ohio (WDTN) – Several 3D printing machines were set up at Greeneview High School to run around the clock. One layer at a time, mask extenders for frontline workers were created. 

“The mask can clip around the little holders on the extender. They go around the back and then the masks aren’t directly connected to the ear,” explained Gregg Haines, supervisor of satellite operations for Greene County Career Center.

The extenders are supposed to make wearing a mask more comfortable to use for extended times. 

“The nurses and doctors who are working 10 to 18 hour days, (the ear loops of the mask) are starting to to rub them raw on the back of the eat. There’s bleeding,” said Haines.

Requests for the extenders came from the Greene County combined Health District.

“Greene County Career Center, the school board, and all the districts that are in Greene County have come together to try to do what we can,” Haines said.

Haines hopes students will see this work and realize the extent of their education’s real life applications. He also hopes it instills the desire to give back.

The technology is taking off across the state. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has now 3D printed COVID-19 test swabs.

“While this was an Ohio State beginning, it has really far reaches out to all 88 counties,” said Dr. Peter Mohler, vice dean at the OSU College of Medicine.

With help from several department, it took 10 days to design and implement COVID test swabs. The tests have been approved by the FDA.

Dr. Mohler said testing was expected to halt at OSU because of swabs starting to run out. He said there’s a shortage of swabs nationwide. 

“You can make really as many as you want. We are working to create 200,000 tests initially that can go out to different parts of Ohio,” said Dr. Mohler.

Dr. Mohler said collaborative efforts like this are key in the fight against COVID-19. 

“I’ve never seen the type of selflessness and innovation of people working together than I have over the last three or four weeks,” Dr. Mohler said.