Joe has designs to help

Werribee South inventor Joe Ferlazzo. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 205700_01

By Alesha Capone

Werribee South inventor Joe Ferlazzo is helping the medical community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mr Ferlazzo is a familiar face to many residents, thanks to his work with the Wyndham Repair Café.

He is also part of Grow With Joe, a group of volunteers who strive to make a difference for disadvantaged individuals and the environment by upscaling recycled materials into useful items.

Before the coronavirus lockdown began, Mr Ferlazzo worked with charity Envision and the Wyndham Rotary Club in a project which turned recycled plastic bottle caps into prosthetic arms and hands for children.

Mr Ferlazzo said that while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, he began reading about how people overseas were 3D printing and laser-cutting face-shields for health workers.

He said he was inspired to embark on his own projects, including printing filter mask hooks, designed to prevent pain behind the ears of healthcare workers who are required to wear a facemask.

Mr Ferlazzo is also working on 3D-printed face-shields and a hands-free sprayer, which would automatically dispense liquid hand sanitation without the need to squeeze a trigger.

“It’s for children, I’m trying to make it look like a robot, I’m about three-quarters of the way through working on that,” he said.

Mr Ferlazzo said he was hoping to supply his creations to Wyndham’s medical and healthcare workers, or medical centres.

“I’m only looking locally, if everybody looked local it could really help,” he said.

“I’ve got some knowledge in the area and if you can help, you help.”