People are printing 3D face masks at home to donate to local healthcare workers
Yesterday, nurses marched the White House steps to protest the lack of Personal Protective Equipment available in their hospitals and demand that the federal government step-up, as promised, and provide live-saving gear like N95 respirator masks. Too many healthcare workers have lost their own lives fighting COVID-19 and President Trump’s supposed Defense Production Act doesn’t appear to be manufacturing the PPE he claimed it would. Currently, healthcare workers have been making their own masks or relying on charitable donations from individuals to purchase masks from private companies. Now, some people have started purchasing 3D printers and are quickly making face shields and face masks to rival the N95 masks and are donating them to the healthcare workers who are holding down the frontlines.
For the last 2 weeks, my son has been 3D printing masks for health care workers. Today he took his latest sample to a DC-area hospital, which told him they want as many as he can print as fast as he can print them. Here’s the project and how you can help. https://t.co/A4Txp7XPtP
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) April 15, 2020
A teenager in the Washington D.C. area printed a mask at home to wear to the grocery store, but when he made some for friends and shared photos on Instagram, a few nurses reached out, wondering whether he could make more.
“Using a design by Rowan University, which I’ve modified a bit for use on my printers, I am now working to supply local hospitals with 3D-printed personal protective equipment. Today, I showed a sample mask to a representative of a hospital in the Washington DC area, who asked me if I could provide more — as many of them as I can print, as fast possible,” he wrote on his GoFundMe, which has raised more than $50K to date.
Steven Foxworth, a Florida teacher, has two 3D printers at home and is churning out as many face shields as he can.
Dropped off 25 more face shield and 20 ear reliefs. 3D printing around the clock to make PPE for health care and front line workers. pic.twitter.com/Ed3qfc7ymg
— steven.foxworth (@StevenFoxworth) April 20, 2020
Additionally, GCreate, an on-demand 3D-printing service, has turned their warehouse into a stockroom for all the face shields they’ve been printing lately.
We've been quiet on social for a few reasons. One, we've been focusing on navigating gCreate through these difficult times. Two, we've converted our massive farm to #3dprinting PPE for our frontline heroes. Here are just some of the thousands of face shields we've been printing. pic.twitter.com/J3OzuzoX2L
— gCreate (@gCreate3D) April 16, 2020
A number of individuals even told Bloomberg that they literally purchased 3D printers specifically to join the fight and print PPE for healthcare workers.
Hobbyists are running their 3D printers around the clock to make personal protective equipment for frontline workers.
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) April 22, 2020
These aren’t the only stories — individual citizens all over the country and taking it upon themselves to supply their local hospitals with PPE.
PPE my brother has been 3D printing. He's doing good work for good people. pic.twitter.com/toU5rsNCzH
— Derek Montilla (@Cap_Kaveman) April 20, 2020
A Charlottesville High School engineering teacher has been 3D printing hundreds of face shields like the one I'm wearing here, and other PPE to protect our local healthcare workers! Hear how they're made and how they're helping during this pandemic tonight at 11 on @CBS19News pic.twitter.com/6tJpIbFZez
— Brianna Hamblin (@BriReports) April 16, 2020
Our little home #3Dprinting production line for #PPE. Production Manager, Production operative and Distribution to local care homes all by my wonderful husband Richard 🙂#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/FYRrQ2KhxU
— Juergen Maier (@Juergen_Maier) April 20, 2020
Hi from your colleagues at Siemens Lincoln also supporting with the #3Dprinting of vital #PPEfortheNHS supporting @unilincoln by supplying 1100 frames so far with a further 700 expected this week all to help our amazing frontline NHS workers at Lincoln County Hospital @ULHT_News pic.twitter.com/GxymOZHOvi— Neil French (@NeilFrenchLincs) April 22, 2020
Individual citizens should not have to carry the burden of PPE production. A teenager shouldn’t have to buy a 3D printer so that the nurses at his local hospital don’t catch COVID-19. Celebrities shouldn’t have to write checks for hospitals to go onto Amazon and buy N95 masks. Grateful for the everyday heroes around the country doing their part to protect frontline workers, but it’s time the federal government step up and do their part as well.