When the Movement Control Order (MCO) began in Malaysia, freshly graduated Engineering student, Mohd Nurezman Bin Hj Md Ezamudin wanted to be able to contribute something to the frontliners who are working hard to keep the pandemic at bay. After gathering issues and complaints from front liners, he discovered a common problem that all of them seem to have, which was the wearability of the ear-loop face masks. This is especially the case for female muslims who wore the hijab, and are not able to put on the masks properly.
With some research, he came across a face mask buckle that he can easily reproduce using a 3D printer belonging to the Makerz Club, a student club dedicated towards innovation and design.
The face mask buckle is an add on plastic accessory to the ear-loop face masks, where two issues were resolved with its usage. The first issue it addresses is the irritation behind the ear when face masks are worn for long periods of time. The second issue is the convenience for hijab wearers, where it helped wearers to quickly put face masks on or to take it off without the need to take off their hijab. Each face mask buckle takes 30 minutes to be printed using a 3D printer. The design of the face mask buckle as shown, has multiple hooks on each side, allowing for ease of access for a quick hook for ear-loop type face masks, making it an essential accessory for everyday mask wearers.
I was elated that I was able to print around 150 per week but the Movement Control Order limited my ability to access Hospitals to distribute the buckles. A neighbour, Dr. Azmi bin Alias, Head of Department & Chief Consultant, Neurosurgery Department, Hospital Kuala Lumpur helped me share the buckles to the Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Hospital, respectively. Little did I know, he had shared them among many other hospitals which surprised me when I received random “thank you” texts from them