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COVID-19 Efforts: Getting Started

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

by Maddie Jacks

After seeing the news that the Italian 3D printing start-up, Isinnova, had modeled a ventilator valve successfully, possibly saving hundreds of lives, The Makery Team dove headfirst into determining how best we can contribute. The growing distributed manufacturing effort that is spreading across makerspaces and production companies is an uplifting show of unity and support for our local communities, and we are very honored and excited to be a part of it.

However, there are some challenges. We have identified several key questions that are guiding us through our approach to this crisis.

What is the most useful thing we can produce?

Masks? Hand sanitizer? Face shields? Ventilator components? Each of these items comes with their own set of concerns and challenges, but we believe that all would be helpful in the fight against this disease. The questions that remain to be answered in relation to this are:

What do hospitals need most, and when?

We are assessing the needs of hospitals through research and reaching out to the biotech groups who recently called for information about what supplies companies can provide, and will hopefully direct us as to where we can be most helpful.

What is safest for The Makery, and other makerspaces with similar resources, to make?

As of now, it seems as though the products that would be most useful are;

1) Face shields

Prusa Research has already created manufacturing files and guidelines for manufacturing this essential item. Their design has been approved by the Czech Ministry of Health.

2) Hand sanitizer

One of the founders of The Makery, Manny Cabanas, was involved in developing a hand sanitizer facility in Uganda in the past and has offered his expertise to work on production here in Brookline.

3) N95 Masks

"There is an urgent need for PPE in the hardest hit areas like NY state, especially N95 masks"

- Dr. Eric Rashba, Director, Stony Brook Heart Rhythm Center, Professor of Medicine

We will be working to determine if we can safely produce N95 Mask components and what is the best distribution channel to get them to organizations in need of inventory.

4) Ventilator Components

We will be working to determine if we can safely produce ventilator parts (which have now been posted on GrabCAD, see links below), and seek the help of anyone in hospital operations positions who may know what the greatest need is and what they are willing to take, unregulated, from makerspaces.

Resources, needs, and how you can help

What we have

  • 3D printers (8) and a limited amount of filament

  • Laser cutter (20” X 30” bed)

  • Woodshop

  • CNC (23" X 35" bed)

  • A virtual and onsite team that can design, produce, and deliver components and assembled products

What we need

  • 1.75mm unopened packages of filaments for 3D printing

  • Markforged Onyx filament

  • .5mm PETG plastic sheets

We are seeking partnership with plastics manufacturers, specifically of .5mm PETG sheets, as this is a key component of the face shields. Donations of this material would be welcome.

Funding for this effort

If you would like to donate to this effort please email and we will let you know how you can contribute. We appreciate your help.

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