TL;DR: I’ve been busy making supplies for COVID. You can help!
Throughout this lockdown, I’ve dedicated nearly all my spare time to helping out where I can with COVID19 (not even really taking time to doodle! T_T). I doubt I need to educate anybody on the crucial need for PPE in the US. Accordingly, the two main projects I’ve undertaken are:
- N95 respirator design
- Face shield manufacturing
While there’s a bigger shortage of N95 masks and respirators, designing one that actually works well is tricky, and it’s a topic for a future post. On the other hand, there are plenty of easy to make open-source face shield designs out there, and hospitals around the globe are accepting them. In conjunction with other PPE, face shields keep healthcare workers safe by preventing droplets from sneezes and coughs from reaching their faces.
The face shields are comprised of three main components:
- 3D Printed Frame, ideally PETG, but PLA will work in a pinch
- Shield, made from transparent PET, PVC, or Acetate sheets
- Straps, optional for some designs
After searching around for a while, I’ve become heavily involved in a dedicated group of local Orange County makers. While we’ve just really started ramping up in the past week, we have collectively already delivered over 318 face shields to hospitals in Santa Ana, Long Beach, Norwalk, and Riverside, and we have orders pending from 24 facilities for over 1700 shields… This includes repeat commitments of 780 units per week.
Personally, I’ve delivered a small batch of initial units to local healthcare friends on the front lines, while I’m working out the kinks in the manufacturing process. This week, I’m on the hook to deliver 55 face shields to local clinics. I’ve just published improvements to two popular designs to thingiverse. The improvements allow parts to be printed in stacks, giving makers more downtime between needing to fuss with printers, and allows for more fully utilized overnight printing. I fully admit that this idea was shamelessly stolen from other members of the OC makers group:
With my current capacity, I’m able to do between 10 and 15 frames per day. However, to keep up with the increasing demand, I ordered another printer, so hopefully I’ll be able to boost my production to nearly frames 30 daily this week. Tiff has pitched in to help with hole punching shields, and she’s been a trooper in allowing this to take over tons of my time (and a lot of the space in the living room), so I wanted to give her a special shout out <3.
If you’d like to help, there’s a few ways you can pitch in:
- Find a local open source makers group and see if you can volunteer, especially if you have access to a 3D printer, laser cutter, or have sewing skills. There’s also lots of organizing and logistics support that honestly is just best done at the grassroots level. Here’s a roster of some local groups on Facebook:
- Alternatively, if you want to donate to help me with material costs, I’d greatly appreciate it. Venmo @iampip is easy, and anything you can afford to give would be fantastic and will go directly to covering costs. For transparency, here’s what my outlays have been so far (not counting my N95 project, capital investments, and operational costs):