Home Grown PPE
When the UK-wide lockdown was announced and the national shortages of PPE became all too apparent, Oxford-resident Rob Bailey decided that he wanted to help. Rob, who is a psychologist by trade, originally purchased his 3D printer to learn how to make enclosures for small computing projects as a hobbyist and mostly used it to make parts for minor repairs around the house. He received an email from the manufacturer of the 3D printer saying they were making face visors for people in healthcare. Although initially skeptical that doctors would use PPE's being produced by individuals, but after seeing a post on social media showing that others had been printing these and they were being used my medical workers he decided there was no more time to waste. Using a free design that was provided online, he switched on his machine very early one morning and started printing. He managed to print about seven a day on his single printer, and around his ongoing work schedule, disinfecting the masks in his utility room before hanging them to dry on his washing line. He offered these masks to local GP surgeries, but soon the demand far outstripped his capacity to produce these visors.
And so on March 31st, he tweeted out asking if there was anyone in the local area who would be able to help out. 4,500 re-tweets later this movement has grown into a collective of 30 printers and 70 volunteers made up of admin administrators, sterilisers, couriers, web developers, you name it. All of whom give their time freely and willingly.
We are now five weeks into this movement and producing around 300 visors a day, delivering to those who desperately need it. One of the most rewarding things is that we’re not just protecting people’s lives and health; we’re protecting their psychological well-being as well. Lots of doctors and nurses were really frightened about going to work. Now they’re going to work calmer, more reassured.
We are continuing to raise donations in this effort to help cover the material costs of printing and distribution - please click here if you would like to donate.