Rise of the DT teachers: how an ‘army’ of 3D printers are helping solve the UK coronavirus PPE crisis

The Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, shortage is a massive crisis affecting our entire NHS, and care providers. In this special edition of the Leader: Coronavirus Daily, we’ve spoken to some of a small but growing army of volunteers who are using 3D printers to do what they can to help out.


As the Government drafts in the London Fire Brigade to deliver PPE to NHS workers, and the government wrestles to get a shipment of masks delivered from Turkey, a group of design and technology teachers are going back into their schools to fire up 3D printers and create PPE for medical staff.


They’re co-ordinated by weeks-old groups such as 3DCrowdUK. Using their website individuals can registering requests for equipment, which will then get made by independent printers and shipped to NHS trusts. 


Elsewhere, private care providers are facing their own shortages and say they are being forced to compete against the NHS for vital equipment. One provider’s solution: to create their own supply chain using an independent network of volunteer makers.


This is a story of the heroes rising to meet a vital need in dangerous times.


To sign up as a volunteer, or to register a request for PPE, visit 3Dcrowd.uk

To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/3dcrowd-emergency-3d-printed-face-shields


 

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