The plastics maker joins the Covid-19 champion in donating 15,000 clips to prevent glasses from fogging up glasses worn by MidCentral DHB employees
WARWICK SMITH / stuff
Paul Elmey, owner of AC Plastics, inspects two injection molded plastic nose clips that are fresh off the production line.
A feilding maker stepped up to support a Covid champion who spent thousands of dollars and countless hours making masks more comfortable.
Palmerston North wind farm technician Ben Robertson began 3D printing nose clips that prevent glasses from fogging up while wearing masks after several people complained about it on social media during the August lockdown.
He initially gave them away for free, but when demand got too great, he asked individuals to pay $ 2.50 to cover the cost of the clips he donated to medical workers.
AC Plastics has now come on board, increasing production capacity ten-fold, and enabling Robertson to donate 15,000 clips to the MidCentral District Health Board by the end of this week.
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Paul Elmey, owner of AC Plastics, said his wife and business partner Julie Elmey read about Robertson on Stuff and the couple decided to support his efforts.
“People just don’t give anything for free these days, it’s all about the almighty dollar.
“It would be great if more people could join in as Ben thinks.”
AC Plastics makes all types of durable, injection molded plastics from 100 percent recycled material.
Elmey said it was all food and medical plastic, so it would be particularly good for an item that will be donated to medical workers.
Robertson said the Elmeys were originally intended to cover the cost of the form of production, but in the end it was significantly more expensive than initially thought.
So he and his wife, Sana Robertson, paid $ 18,000 to have it made.
The Elmeys donated the material cost and time for AC Plastics’ machines, which were still a sizeable contribution, he said.
DAVID UNWIN / stuff
Ben Robertson 3D printed the mask clips at home and distributed them to the community. At first completely free, but then for a small fee to cover the cost as more and more people asked for it.
Since September, Robertson has expanded its home operations to seven 3D printers. He made and shipped 800 nose clips a day.
With AC Plastics on board, it was almost 9,000. It also means that Robertson now plans to sell a couple of its printers on Trade Me with a $ 1 reserve – with the proceeds going to health care charities.
Robertson said the additional production would also allow him to expand outside of Manawatū and donate to family doctors, health clinics and DHBs in other regions.
He just wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it yet, since his current endeavors were taking up almost all of his free time.
“We focused on Palmerston North first because that’s where we live and it’s the easiest to get to.”
Robertson said he would be very interested to hear from anyone who could help expand sales in other regions.
The nose clips can be ordered for $ 2.50 each, which allows Robertson to donate two clips to medical staff through www.art-isan.co.nz.
He can be contacted through the same website.