Mask holders to relieve ear pain

By Raphaël - April 11th, 2020

DIY, Health

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English version

In the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large numbers of caregivers are at the frontline to perform tests an assist patients. Among other protection equipments, the disposable masks with elastic straps may be worn all day long and cause pain at the back of the ears. I designed a small plastic ribbon to prevent this, and I share the blueprint and cut files so that anyone can easily reproduce it.

Among the various protections available, disposable masks with elastic straps are widely used, sometimes for several hours in a row, which can create pain in the back of the ears, where the elastic rubs.

It should be noted that this type of mask is not usually worn for such long durations, and for heavy interventions the masks with straps that are tied behind the head are preferred. But they are not currently available everywhere in sufficient amounts to equip each caregiver.

Inspired by initiatives like this one, I developed a model that can be cut with the same technology as the foldable head shields, namely the cutting of 110µm thick PET films with a vinyl cutting machine (Graphtec CE-6000-40) followed by decontamination.

Pattern of the holding system. Red contours are engraved, black contours are cut.

It worked out of the box:



Similarly to the foldable head shields, it is designed for single use. However the technology allows for rapid production on a large scale, which is difficult with 3d printed pieces.

If you are interested in this project and have a cutting machine (plot cutter or laser cutting), you can easily replicate these straps using the model available below.

Be creative, and take care!


The latest version of the source file and the cutting file are accessible here:

This content is delivered under the terms of the free license Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0.


I thank Max Deforêt for pointing the issue and Christophe Travert for useful advises.

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