In a recent blog post, I touched on how communities are putting their efforts into helping essential workers and fabricating face shields.
PPE For KC is coordinating Makers in Kansas City and the surrounding metro to provide PPE for medical professionals, first responders, care facilities & volunteer groups. In just a few weeks, 55+ Makers joined the group and are printing to meet the requests.
Requests come from many including; nursing homes, hospices, dentists, fire fighters, EMT’s and rural hospitals. Initially the group’s focus was on area smaller places who didn’t have purchasing power, but area hospitals are now accepting the shields, after the NIH (National Institute of Health) certified an array of 3d print models the group were using.
Luis Rodriguez has been Make48’s 3d printing Ultimaker expert and is volunteering his time as the Director of Relations for PPE for KC. Luis has only worked with the group for a short time and is amazed by the work and dedication of all the volunteers. As high as their demand is, every 4.5 days, their group can reach its goals. Last week their requests hit a record high, and still reached their goal.
The group that started on March 22 has made incredible progress. Cassandra Switlik, Communications Director at Masks For KC relayed to me where the group currently sits at.
Phase 1 – Prusa Face Shields and Prusa Quick Print Face Shields.
- 3000 Prusa style head bands have been produced by a team of 60 Makers.
- 1500 Prusa units have been delivered with another 300 units filled waiting for delivery.
- The remaining 1,200 units will be sanitized, packaged and ready for delivery over the next couple of weeks.
Phase 2 – 3D Verkstan Face Shields
- 7,500 units have been produced by a team of 54 Makers.
- 500 units have been kitted and delivered.
- The remaining 7,000 units will be sanitized, packaged and ready for delivery over the next couple of weeks.
On April 25th, the numbers for the group PPE for KC were announced on their page and the results were inspiring.
- 10K+ face shield parts have been created
- 8k+ shields have been dropped off
- 500 Eye shield frames (think of these like frames of glasses) for Truman Medical Center have been produced & delivered.
- Produced 1300 Mask Straps
Cassandra also told me about the mask straps they are helping produce. “Masks For KC partnered with a local 7 year old named Ethan Stimac, who came up with a really cute KC logo Mask Strap. Our team of makers helped produce the straps to help Ethan keep up with demand.”
Ethan’s parents bought him a kid-friendly 3D printer, after showing immediate interest after his grade school received one. They have produced hundreds of customized mask bands from his printer, and the straps have been hugely popular across the U.S.
The group that was started by Joe Mike Terranella will continue to create shields as long as there is a need. There are several ways to get involved with PPE For KC or their parent company Masks For Docs. Not a lot is certain, but one thing is… the impact 3D printing has and will have in the future of healthcare.