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Protecting communities by 3D-printing PPE

8 April 2020 - posted by Formthotics

Foot Science International, helping protect communities by 3D-printing PPE components

A week after watching ShieldsUp’s story on New Zealand TV, the team at Foot Science International were inspired and wanted to do our part to help New Zealand’s fight against COVID-19. We’re almost ready to start 3D printing our first 50 headbands. These will be sent to the team at Shields Up, assembled into face shields and then distributed to community based essential workers.

ShieldsUp are an organisation who recognised a gap in the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the New Zealand community of essential workers. From this they decided to create the ‘Shields’ Up’ project, asking any person or company in New Zealand with a 3D printer to help make PPE for essential workers. 

ShieldsUp FaceshieldShieldsUp Faceshield

“ShieldsUp was created to unify our common goal of getting our front-line medical personnel better equipped to deal with Covid-19,” according to ShieldsUp Founders.  In less than ten days, the organisation has built a community of over 200 volunteers, supplied thousands of essential workers with PPE, had over 25,000 PPE units requested and raised over $60,000 NZD for the funding of raw material to print the masks. As well as making PPE equipment, the organisation is now looking at ways of producing other lifesaving equipment for the medical sector, such as ventilators, and are currently awaiting approval.

Our Development Engineer, Antony Deaker, is currently working from home, using the company 3D printer, and wanted to help. Antony explained, “we were already geared up to print, so transitioning to print headbands was an obvious change, as PPE is in very high demand”. He has now ordered sufficient raw materials to print the headbands and will began production as soon as it arrives.

ShieldsUp FaceshieldFrontline workers wearing their face shields

At Foot Science international, we believe in Maanaakitanga, which is to care for someone’s mana or well-being. As said by Hamish McIntyre, Process and Development Manager, by making the headbands “we can do something directly for the first responders (well, other than keep their feet comfortable!)”.

If you or your company are also able to help ShieldsUp in New Zealand by 3D-printing PPE components, below is where to go to help the cause.

Support with time or machinery:

https://airtable.com/shr7sxplXlJbCMlkM 

Support with a donation:

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/makers-nz-covid-19-comunity-action?fbclid=IwAR0vJwIaOpcO2c04eMm2QEUUJ3fDbMOFigAhnkeV_0fd06mCMKJOrMARyng

If you’re in or know someone in the COVID-19 front line in New Zealand and are needing PPE:

https://shieldsup.org.nz/request-face-shields/

For more information on ShieldsUp’s story or to watch their process in action:

https://www.facebook.com/shieldsupnz/ 

https://shieldsup.org.nz/

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/shields-up-project-calling-kiwi-volunteers-make-face-masks-health-workers