I created an extended version for a friend but it was too uncomfortable. So with the help of a stainless steel bowl and my trusty heat gun I was able to bend the acrylic so it would be curved to create a better fit around the back of the head. I think this would work on many of the current designs I have seen posted on the forum so I wanted to put it out there.
I’m planning to suggest this to recipients, but they’d be a lot harder to stick in an envelope and mail if they’re curved, so I’ll send them out flat.
I agree…I think even a hair dryer would do the trick for people that don’t have a heat gun on hand.
You can put them under an oven heating element (broiler in US, grill outside US…)
That’s how “real” acrylic bending tools are made.
Doesn’t take much to get them soft enough to be formed into a shallow curve, and a quick rinse in water sets them.
Try using some 1/16" two color acrylic. It is much more pliable and I think it will hold up. It also makes a more attractive ear saver if you are personalizing them.
It is probably cost prohibitive if you are mass producing them for an institution.
you can get some cheap 2 tone .020, 1/16 and 3/16 at bf plastics in their garage sale, you may not like the color selection, but for this application, it would work well.
12x24 sheets are $2.50.
I ordered after seeing your post, and received it this morning already! Wow, they are fast.
What I got was mostly 0.020” and 1/32” plus a couple sheets of 1/16” discontinued two-toned acrylic in the 12 x 24” size. I think this thin stuff will work really well for ear savers because of the flexibility, and you can’t beat the price (2.50 per quarter sheet).
mine’s on schedule for delivery today (16 sheets of 1/8 and a couple of sheets of this smooth silver/black 2 tone .020 that i wanted to play with. was just an extra $5, so what the hell.
i also made a second order of 25 sheets of the 1/8 for the office since we have an order of 1800 clips for a local hospital to do there. that one gets here tuesday.
let me know how that 1/16, 1/32 and .020 works for you. our chicago office tried the clip pattern they had for the 0.020 PETG scraps leftover from making face shields and said it was just too flimsy and snapped easily, but that could have been PETG vs acrylic.
I’m looking at the msds for the .020 that I have and it appears to be made of acrylic/styrene (I guess that’s one of the layers) and EA/MMA (which is methyl methacrylate-co-ethyl acrylate). So the styrene bit might make it a little melty, but there’s no chlorine in it so should be reasonably safe. It does seem fairly flexible so I think it should work great for ear savers that will fit better to the ear.
what i worry about is the fragility of the little pieces that the elastic clips to. it should fit against the head nicely, but i’m worried those little clips will break easily.
the 1/8 are rated fine to cut on the laser, but not to engrave (rotary only for engraving). but for clips, they’re perfect. UPS hasn’t gotten here yet.
When I first saw the acrylic ear savers, my first thought was “hmm i bet that’s uncomfortable after awhile… wouldn’t they want something flexible?” Then I started cutting with my cricut - the plastic paper folders you can get at walmart for .50 each.
Does anyone have a tried & true comfortable version? I’m getting my glowforge in the mail Thursday and would love to make thousands of these…
I’ve seen others with the same comment. But I haven’t seen anyone saying they have worn them for a day to see if what they think will be the case is actually a problem. I’ve worn them for hours but not full days. CT just mandated masks in public so I’ll do an experiment but if there’s someone who has already gotten feedback (I’ve shipped .060 PETG ones with every 1/8" acrylic one telling them I’d ship more of the PETG if they found the acrylic ones uncomfortable but haven’t had anyone come back and ask for the PETG ones specifically).
yes, so far everyone i’ve talked to has been thrilled. maybe there are other solutions that are better than 1/8, but it’s still 1000% better than not having the clips.
fwiw, like @jamesdhatch, i’ve worn one for an hour or two and don’t find them uncomfortable. most of my masks aren’t behind the ear, but when i’m in the office, i’ve used the over-ear masks we have there.
I’ve been enclosing a note saying they can be curved with heat for a better fit.
Are you giving them any suggestions on how they can do that? I’ve read several different ways but wasn’t sure the best one to recommend.
Blow dryer, heat gun.
… warm oven…
and who knows what equipment they might have in a hospital that could do the same thing. just need a heat sources and (preferably) something to put them on that has a similar curve to your noggins.
Great idea on forming for back of head.
Great idea. And when I send out multiples in a padded envelope I hold them all together with an elastic and insert for the minimum thickness—which means non-flatness is no issue. Can you tell me how fast you are able to heat and bend? I have a heat gun available with multiple temperature setting options (and metal bowls) so would love to learn from your experience.
And do you expect it would cause any issue to heat while leaving the masking on? I have sent them so far with the masking to be removed by user.