Do you know who doesn't get attention? The general public/businesses helping out behind the scenes generating PPE. These people are using their talents to produce PPE at a time when there is a shortfall in protection for frontline workers.
I thought I would email you and hopefully give you some insight into the daily life of someone trying to make PPE for front-liners.
I currently run a 3D Printing company and as you would expect, work is non-existent. At this current moment, I receive approximately 5 calls a day in regards to 3D Printing PPE for the NHS – either CCG or trusts. One of the first questions asked of me is “ how many visors can you produce a week” my response used to be, 100 on a good day – this was met with a sigh. This prompted me to seek other alternatives that came in the form of mass manufacturing which can produce in excess of 30,000 visors a week.
Too many times I’ve heard from NHS staff that the PPE might be being sent out but it’s not reaching us and that’s why we are approaching 3D Printing companies in the hope that there might be salvation in a quick fix PPE shortage, because, as you well know, a visor could prevent infection. You may have seen on the news, 3D printing hobbyists that have helped in the manufacture of PPE and how (in small volume) have managed to fulfil PPE on a scale that could potentially save many lives.
If you do a quick search on ‘face shield visor’ in google along with other variants, you will see that prices are inflated to a point where it’s on average 700% more expensive than going direct to a manufacturer. I have managed to secure cost price of visors at £2.10 with no mark-up and constant delivery on an every other day basis where staff can get PPE now as I will deliver myself. I want to point out to you that there’s an army of 3D Printing companies, Hobbyists, Tinkerers, Crafters that are behind the scenes making PPE that help saves lives even on a small scale. I really don’t want to get political, but it seems that I (Joe Bloggs) am able to approach a manufacturer and negotiate cost price of PPE but my local hospital can't get a basic mask.
On my first encounter with other like-minded people, I was approached by a multitude of people wanting to make some kind of a dent, but things were 'all over the place', no 'central hub' or 'one-stop-shop' where front line workers can order PPE from tinkerers, hobbyists, etc until I was sent a link for a website that just does that - https://faceprotectionhub.org/ is a conglomerate entity based on everyday people just trying to help. If one person out there has a 3D printer and is unaware that what they have could potentially save lives, face protection hub, and www.awoodco.co.uk can point those people in the right direction.
At any other point (in relation to PPE) people like myself would need to seek approval and jump through hoops to produce PPE, but, if NHS groups are asking me for quotes of 50,000 units. That statement speaks for itself.
My hope is that, if a frontline worker can be made aware that the public has set up a hub whereby they can order small scale PPE, then I can sleep a little easier.
Aurora 3D Printing Co
Mexborough, South Yorkshire
07507 988 167 http://www.awoodco.co.uk