For up to date and accurate information about COVID safety, visit the NHS or WHO websites.
The NHS has a desperate need for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Supplies are dwindling due to closed factories in China and the global surge in demand over the last few weeks.
The 3D printing community has come together to help alleviate pressure on the supply chain by producing the equipment needed.
3D printing is a relatively quick and reliable way to produce such equipment without a large initial investment or setup time - something that injection molding suffers from.
Currently, we are producing face shields for NHS hospitals around the UK. These are being made locally, shipped to a local "hub" and then distributed to the hospitals, care homes and other crucial services where they are needed most. Hospitals can register their requests for equipment at 3dcrowd.uk
As an example, the QEUH in Glasgow requested over 400 face shields over the weekend. On Tuesday (13/04/20) I'll be delivering 20 shields to the QEUH, with my 3d printer working it's socks off!
Each shield takes around 2 hours to make, and costs around £1 in materials. The material - 3D printer filament - is sold in reels of 1kg, costing around £20 each.
We're trying to make as many shields as we can, however the shipping and material costs quickly add up. This is why we're asking for your help in this fight back against the virus.
Whatever donation you make, 100% of this will go towards new tools, materials and shipping/packaging to my local hub, based in California, Falkirk. This is a fantastic way to help our NHS at such strange & difficult times, and we all appreciate your support.
Please note: 3D crowd are running their own fundraising campaign for the national effort, whereas each "maker" is running their own campaign for them to purchase the tools & materials needed.
You can read more about the project at 3Dcrowd.uk
The initial funding target of £400 was smashed within hours. This has been enough to buy more materials and a second 3D printer - resulting in a doubling of print speeds. Next steps are to keep the printers going, they find the filament rather tasty!
I've increased the funding target to £650, and this will allow for a third printer to be purchased. Resulting in around 20 shields being produced per day.
All of your support this far has been fantastic and 3D Crowd, the NHS & myself all thank you for your generosity!
I'll also start making surgical mask straps, designed to relieve the pressure of the elastic from surgical masks from the back of doctors and nurses ears.
Your donation will help fund new tools, materials (3D printer filament) and postage/packaging to local hubs.
What's A Local Hub?
Hospitals, GPs & Care Homes all around the UK require this PPE. To help with the logistics, and make sure everything gets where it's needed most, 3D Crowd are coordinating deliveries.
Makers - such as myself - produce the PPE at home, and then package up the supplies & send them off to a local hub.
These hubs are usually businesses who are helping & volunteering their services, or area coordinators' homes.
Anyone that requires PPE can then request a delivery from the 3D Crowd website, and it's up to the area coordinator to make this happen.
N.b. My first batch of face shields will have been (By Tuesday the 14th April) delivered directly to the QEUH as they are in a desperate need for equipment. The supply chain structure setup by 3D Crowd allows this to happen - which is great!
The Issue [From 3DCrowd.uk]
There is a critical shortage of medical PPE at the moment and even as the pandemic worsens supplies are dwindling. Medical institutions around the country have reached out to the 3d printing community for help and support in overcoming the shortages caused by overwhelmed production infrastructure designed around high volume/low cost but often struggles to scale to changing demand and many factories have been out right closed down by the situation in China.
How we are Helping
As a result a more desperate approach is needed- the production of functional shields to protect medical workers that can be produced by anyone with the raw materials and a 3d printer, and thanks to Joseph Prusa we have just such a design. we have makers from across the country currently donating their print time and their materials to produce these shields, we have hospitals across the country asking for supplies but we only have so much material on hand and can only afford so much to donate to produce these. and so this is where this campaign comes in! we are looking for support to allow us to cover the cost of materials and transport of these masks where ever they are needed, each kilo of filament can, on average, print around 20 face shield frames, each kilo of petg filament costs on average around £20 per spool even now we have orders for 70, 100, 800- shields to be delivered asap, we need filament, we need elastic and plastic sheets for the visors and with your help we can afford this! we can keep our NHS staff healthy, they should never have to work without vital PPE (Personal Protective Equipment.)