Like many of you, I want to help with this pandemic in any way that I can. Fortunately, a company in Prague (Prusa) created what has quickly become a very popular 3D-printed face shield design. To address their local need for PPE (personal protective equipment) in Kitchener, ON, a company called Inksmith started manufacturing this design and put out a request to the 3D printing community to donate parts in order to help increase their production volume. Wanting to help, and since I'm a mechanical engineering technology professor at Durham college, the school allowed me to relocate 6 of our portable 3D printers to my garage. I then sent out a request over LinkedIn asking my current and graduated students who own 3D printers if they would join me (from their houses) to produce parts for this cause as well as one in conjunction with our ONTech university partner to help supply our local community and hospitals with the PPE they need! Well, in 4 days, eleven of us (so far) are using 16 printers continuously to produce 100 shields/day!
However, we only have about 6 days left of PLA printing material... and at approximately $1/visor, 100 parts/day costs us roughly $100/day. Although I'm certain that Durham College and ONTech university will continue to fund our efforts, how long will this pandemic last? What will be the total cost for us?
No one knows.
So, I've decided to reach out to all of you who don't own a 3D printer and ask, can you help us buy another $25 roll of PLA for one of our machines?
If so, please donate! No amount is too small.
Take care everyone! Stay healthy, connect online and let's do our best to fight this beast.
April 1, 2020: I am completely overwhelmed by the support we have received in such a short time. THANK YOU SO MUCH! In only four days, our team of 11 with 16 printers has already grown to 33 with 44 printers and your donations have supplied us with 1.5 MONTHS of material that will allow us to make approximately 8750 face shields at a rate of 220 per day! So you know, we are also having discussions about printing ventilator components. So, time will tell. Although we quickly reached our conservative goal, I'm sure you appreciate that additional funds are always welcome. I promise that ALL of it will be directed to providing PPE or ventilator support to whoever needs it and I will send updates about exactly where and how it's being spent.
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