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The tiny Taranaki library solving a foggy Covid-19 issue 3D printing mask clips

The tiny Taranaki library solving a foggy Covid-19 issue 3D printing mask clips

A small town Taranaki library will see hundreds walk through its doors in coming days, but the public aren’t after books, they're picking up mask nose clips.

The Stratford Library's 3D printer is working harder than it ever has, creating the clips that stop glasses fogging when wearing a face mask.

People have been travelling from outside the district for the 50-cent pieces that slide onto masks and sit on the bridge of the nose.

“It's literally life changing," Erin Bishop, who was the first to ask the library to print one, said.

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The library had already printed about a hundred of the clips made from corn starch plastic, and have a waiting list even longer.

Bishop, the Stratford District Council's committee advisor and executive assistant, had spent months unable to wear her glasses and a face mask in council meetings, which left her straining her eyes as she typed up minutes.

The tiny Taranaki library solving a foggy Covid-19 issue 3D printing mask clips

She came across the clips, and printer file to make them, online and, with just two days until her next meeting, asked if the library could make her one.

It was a success, and as Bishop raved about how great the device was at council, other staff came asked for them to be made too.

“People would come in ask what we were doing [with the printer], we'd tell them, then they wanted one,” Bridget Roper, who has been running the printer, said.

“When we saw how much people were enjoying them and solving a problem that everyone seemed to be having, we thought we'd pop it on Facebook.”

Roper, who is the library and visitor information centre team leader, said they quickly realised how slow the creation process was.

"Originally we were making them one by one.”

They have since found a file that allowed her to print five, over the period of an hour.

Roper said this is the most the four-year-old 3D printer had been in action as it's mostly for bits and bobs like plastic game characters, containers for school holiday programmes.

It was working so hard it started playing up on Wednesday – "it must have got a little tired".

The library has posted the pattern online for anyone who has a 3D printer and wishes to make the pieces, otherwise Roper is going to continue making them “until there’s no demand”.