In mid-March, a few of us at Stratasys initiated some conversations with organizations like the Mayo Clinic and Medtronic about what healthcare providers needed most as they faced a growing number of COVID-19 patients, and we also assessed what 3D printing would let us produce best. We decided to focus on face shields.
So we iterated designs and started 3D printing visors as fast as we could. Medtronic and Dunwoody College of Technology helped us with cutting the initial clear shields. A few of us made runs to Office Depot to scoop up their supplies of overhead transparencies.
We asked hospitals and emergency responders how many they needed: Thousands. Ultimately hundreds of thousands.
We asked companies and colleges, large and small, to help us in this effort. They quickly became the Stratasys COVID Coalition and more than 100 teams across the U.S. and around the world went to work, 3D printing dozens, hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of shield visors.
Look at the difference this has made, in about six weeks! Friends, this week, we will hit 100,000 face shields shipped. We’ve successfully used 3D printing to get us to where injection molding can help boost production. And we’ve received heart-warming thanks from heroes on the front lines of this pandemic.
As we all feel our way towards a new normal that is hopefully easier on everyone than the last few weeks have been, we’re hoping that soon our shields are no longer needed, so our COVID coalition can focus on building planes, teaching students, racing cars, making prosthetics, powering our world, winning high school robotics competitions, and all the other amazing things that we all “normally” do.
However, as long as the need for shields remains critical, Stratasys will continue to ship face shields to where they are needed. But as we reach peak scale of this effort, it’s time to thank all the coalition members who have played a part and have been willing to be named.
Courtesy of Stratasys.com