Over the course of a weekend two months ago, our effort began with a modest delivery of 25 3D-printed masks to USC Keck and strips of foam being cut on the CRASH bandsaw for Cedars-Sinai. All of our drops could fit into a single kitchen bin placed in the back alley behind CRASH Space. We never could have imagined how large of an impact, or how broad of a reach, this effort would grow to become.
We’ve now delivered 14,000 units to the frontlines, including hotspots in need outside of Los Angeles. We overcame materials shortages of filament and PET film, logistical hurdles around assembly and delivery, and built a coaltion of at least 200 people producing and delivering PPE to the frontlines. On Saturday we received a donation of a few thousand injection molded Budmen visors from our partners at USC and Sunweaver. This moment is bittersweet, because in many ways it represents mission accomplished.
Our collective effort proved the agility and might of the 3D-printing community to act faster than traditional supply chains, and held the line to allow for more scalable production techniques to catch-up. Through our work iterating and testing designs with USC and Cedars, there are now USC Budmen injection molds on both the East and West coasts ready and waiting for the next surge. Our community was part of an even larger effort to secure reliable domestic production of PPE that won’t be as vulnerable to the challenges of the global supply chain. We made our country and our healthcare workers safer.
Over this next week we’re winding down requests from the 3D printing network for PPE. This is a good moment to take a breath, cool your hot ends, and tune-up your printers. There are still things to print to help us complete outstanding requests, and we continue to need assembly volunteers to help us cut elastic and foam to get our remaining inventory packaged for delivery. If you have the time, and want to still make a difference, consider signing up as a volunteer on our microsite or emailing email@example.com.
We don’t know what the future will hold, and want to stay mobilized and ready to spin back up at a moment’s notice. The COVID crisis is far from over, and the frontlines are shifting to places where systemic inequality are front and center. Though many hospitals are now well stocked with PPE, we’ll continue to service requests as they come in from first responders, mobile clinics, urgent cares, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and essential workers.
We’re also putting together some other exciting programming to stay engaged and help solve critical problems related to the COVID crisis beyond PPE. Specifics will be announced soon.
Thank you all for putting your energy and focus into making this possible! We’ve shown how powerful the Maker community can be when we unite!
If you want to help us get our current inventory packaged, here are the items we need the most:
- Scrunchy Headbands (PETG only) —packs of 10, to help us package our face shield deliveries faster
- 20mm Straplocks — we need 250 per box packaged. Please deliver in bags of at 50+ if you can.
- CRASH Ear Savers (printed or laser cut)
When your makes are complete and properly packaged, please log your output and either mail or bring them to our open drop times on Mondays, Thursdays, or Saturdays from 4pm to 6pm at:
Covenant Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles
6323 W 80th St
Los Angeles, CA 90045