3D printing for protective hospital gear - a great way to put your printer(s) to use

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Brandon Heller

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Mar 26, 2020, 5:10:15 PM3/26/20
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You may have seen this in the news lately, but in case you didn't: there's a shortage of necessary medical equipment, and lots of printer people around the world are banding together to print equipment to help hospitals in need.

Some links to get started:
I can confirm that the need is real; I talked to the sourcing manager today for Sutter Health (my local medical facility in Palo Alto) and learned a bit:

  • They're looking for 5000 face shields and looking to get ahead of the demand, but “Everything is hard to get now, or 3x the price.”   
  • Masks don’t last that long with the cleaning they need to do, and the plastic parts and velcro straps break down over time.
  • The situation is evolving by the minute; they don’t fully know where they’re at.

So I'm going to spend tonight learning more.  Hopefully industry will step in and mass-produce what's needed soon, but until that happens... I want to see what can be done.

And selfishly, I know I'll learn in the process - about optimizing speeds (with a volcano hotend), I'll get experience with PETG (that I've always wanted to try), and will even try out the vertical stacking technique for increasing production.


If you have any links to share, or a printer itching to do something good, reply here!  I'm curious what others are up to.

Kenneth Jiang

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Mar 27, 2020, 9:45:55 AM3/27/20
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