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Hemet’s Western Science Center makes mask clips for hospitals battling coronavirus – The Press-Enterprise


When Hemet’s Western Science Center closed its doors March 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the science didn’t stop. It just changed directions. The museum has four 3D printers, normally used to print exhibits, like prehistoric teeth and bones. But right now, it’s got another job. Like many other Californians, the museum staff is working from home and watching and reading the news about the battle against novel coronavirus. “One of the things we saw were medical staff wearing masks 13, 14, 16 hours a day and getting their ears rubbed raw,” said Alton Dooley, the museum’s executive director. A staff member saw that a 3D printing manufacturer had released a free model of a face mask buckle to make surgical masks more comfortable to wear for prolonged periods. “We offered them out to the Hemet hospital and see if they were interested,” Dooley said. Hemet Global Medical Center officials said they were, and the museum has provided 50 of the clips so far. Although the hospital group has managed its supplies “extremely well,” according to hospital spokesman Jeff Corless, donations from various community organizations and individuals have been appreciated. That includes the clips printed at the Western Science Center.