With Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in critically short supply and the costs of some supplies now increased over 1000%,efforts to resupply PPE at the local level are more important than ever. We’ve shared information and resources about some of those efforts, but we’re especially excited about the MRG 3D Protective Face Shield project organized by Department of Defense Engineer Michael R. Guinn , with whom we’ve partnered to help with this incredible community effort.
Michael is a biomedical engineer and an acquisition program manager for the Department of Defense (DOD) who has chosen to shelter-in-place at a 3D Printing lab he created for the purpose of supplying critically needed protective face shields to area hospitals and healthcare workers. His MRG 3D Halo Shields project is a collaboration with Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association and Christ Fellowship Church Tampa, with support from AMRoC Fab Lab and other community partners.
His 3D Printing Lab is staffed by a small crew of volunteers working in safe social distancing shifts to manage his fourteen 3D printers that are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As of the first week of April, Michael has delivered nearly 6000 face shields to front line health care workers, free of charge, and he is the primary quality-controlled source for all major hospitals in Tampa, as well as other sites.
Michael selected AMRoC Fab Lab as a community partner to help organize off-site volunteers and act as a collection site because of our expertise in coordinating technical teams in the Tampa Bay region. Between Michael’s onsite printers and remote volunteers, there are now over fifty 3D printers currently under the MRG 3D umbrella helping meet demand for the face shields requested by local government officials, as well as hospital leadership teams who have asked MRG 3D for assistance.
All these services are provided free-of-charge to the Tampa medical community, and out of pocket for MRG 3D, with donations funding materials and supplies wherever possible.
Michael recently started an Adopt-a-3D Printer program as a creative, and interactive way to garner support for the effort. Donor funds help with machine maintenance and repair as parts begin to wear down and need to be replaced, and contributors get their name, or a name of their choosing, placed on a printer. They’ll also receive regular updates on their printer along with pictures of it in action. Later, the printer will be donated to a local organization selected by the donor, along with lessons on how to use it, helping build a community response network and trained workforce should similar needs arise in the future. Contact Michael via the public MRG 3D Facebook page if you’d like to adopt a printer!
The MRG 3D effort will continue to deliver face shields as long as necessary provided enough donations come in to support the materials, hardware, and miscellaneous supplies needed. There are three great ways to help.
Join the 3D Printing Brigade
If you have a 3D printer at your home or business and would like to volunteer:
- Join the closed Facebook group page for the MRG 3D team and comment on the “External Printer” thread, after which you’ll be contacted with further instructions, or you can just write directly to Terri Willingham at Terri@ffcdi.org
- Make sure you have sanitation supplies for keeping your print area clean and working in a clean environment, using a mask and gloves.
Completed prints are collected at AMRoC Fab Lab twice a week for delivery to the main MRG 3D Face Shield production site. Click here to read our full Call for 3D Printers.
In Kind Support
Donations of production materials – plastic for shields, 3D printer filament, cleaning supplies and support resources to help keep work areas and product clean and safe, sealable bags and other supplies are appreciated.
We’re extremely grateful for recent donations of vinyl gloves , and to Ultimate 3D Printing Store for their very generous donation of 30 rolls of filament!
If you have materials you feel we might be able to use, please drop us a line via our Contact page.
In addition to adopting a 3D printer, there are other ways to contribute financially to MRG3D. You can Venmo Michael to avoid online fees at venmo.com/MichaelRGuinn or contribute via paypal.me/MichaelRGuinn. If you prefer to make a tax deductible donation, contribute to MRG 3D here, through the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation and funds will be applied to the project.
You can follow project progress at the public Facebook.com/MRG3D and please consider becoming part of Team MRG 3D – as a volunteer, sponsor or in-kind donor – and helping us help others!