We are no longer taking requests for Face Shields.
After repurposing many of our 3D printers to produce free face shields for essential workers, we have been able to provide 6000 units with the help of public and government funding.
Thank you to everyone who supported us to be able to achieve this goal and ensure that we were able to start manufacturing immediately.
We did it!!
UPDATE - 09/04/2020 3pm:
Thanks to the amazing support we have received from the community, we have been able to raise $33,482.29 to support our COVID-19 face shield campaign. These funds will be used manufacture, package and distribute up to 4,000 face shields to essential service workers around Australia - for free!
Along with the awareness that has been created by you, the public, we have received notification that we will be able to obtain government funding from this point forward.
This means that we are now able to conclude our community fundraising campaign.
As the government funding is limited to supporting Victorian Public Health and associated services, we are now able to continue to broaden our scope for supplying not only locally, but all around Australia, using the community funds raised through this campaign.
Now we can not only supply health workers, but also provide to other essential services such as petrol stations, private nursing homes, allied health clinics, veterinary clinics, supermarkets, schools and kindergartens etc.
The support we have received from the community has been overwhelming. We are humbled by the desire people have shown to help others during these hard times. We are already seeing how your contributions are offering reassurance to those on the front line of COVID-19. To stay updated, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/free3dhands
Please note that we have now concluded our fundraising campaign for COVID-19 face shields and any further donations to Free 3D Hands will be used to continue making hands and assistive devices for people around the world - for free!
Free 3D Hands is a registered charity in Australia that provides 3D printed hands and assistive devices to people around the world - for free.
There is currently a large shortage of crucial PPE (personal protective equipment) in Australia. This includes equipment such as masks, gowns, gloves and face shields.
To support workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have re-purposed fourteen of our 3D printers to manufacture face shields. These will be provided, for free, in line with our charity constitution, as additional PPE for those who must still continue to work in areas such as aged care, hospitals, clinics and emergency services.
This is a zero-profit exercise for Free 3D Hands and all donations received will go directly towards assisting those working to keep us healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since we cannot utilise funds that have been previously donated towards the making of assistive devices, we have started a temporary new campaign to help us fund the manufacturing costs of these face shields.
Charity founder, Mat Bowtell, has taken a risk and utilised $14,000 of his own savings, hoping that we can raise enough funds for him to be reimbursed. By doing so, this has enabled us to get the process started, and secure the raw materials from local suppliers as supply lines may soon be disrupted if Australia goes into further lock down.
Our current target is to manufacture 2000 face shields over the next 30-40 days. If we exceed our funding target, which covers materials and manufacturing costs, we will use these funds to employ people from our local community who have been stood down from their jobs as a result of COVID-19, to print and package the face shields. This means we could operate our 3D printers over multiple shifts to increase our output and get them into the community quicker.
If we continue to raise funds over and above our target, we can continue making face shields and employ more community members if the pandemic continues over an extended period.
We have spoken with the Australian Government over the last week to request immediate emergency funding. They have confirmed that face shields are a high priority however since they are still in the information gathering stage, immediate funding cannot be provided until all applications are reviewed over the coming month via an online submission of manufacturing capability. Mat's decade long experience as an industrial engineer has led him to make the call that we cannot wait to proceed. Every day counts as supply lines are drying up and we have now secured all the raw materials that we need.
As a charity we don't want essential services to have to find extra money within their budgets for this additional PPE and that is why we want to provide them for free. We are already receiving many requests from staff on the front-line who require additional PPE for their protection. We will continue liaising with government and the health department to prioritise the supply of our face shields.
We have spoken with the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) in Australia and it is permissible to provide face shields for clinical environments as PPE. We have already manufactured 100 units which are individually packed and held in a quarantine area for 72 hours before distribution. This is the current advice on minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19, which can survive for up to three days on plastic surfaces.
Lets get the Australian community behind our front-line workers and come together in the face of this global crisis. We need to look after those who are risking themselves and their families to keep the rest of us safe and cared for.
Thank you from the Free 3D Hands team!
Thank you to the open-source design community where we sourced the original design before making our own design improvements based on feedback from Australian healthcare workers. For further design related information please visit www.prusa3d.com/covid19/