Our group has distributed over 150,000 face shields to date, with an ever-growing backlog of unfilled requests. Having scaled up from a handful of strangers into a group a couple hundred strong in just a couple of weeks, we've come to really appreciate the sense of community and friendships that we have developed during these challenging times.
We've come together with the goal of protecting frontline healthcare workers and also our communities around us that are most heavily impacted by Covid-19 and at risk. We feel like the won the lottery with the amazing group of volunteers that joined this group, as we have many talented and accomplished professionals lending their expertise and skills to our efforts.
This has allowed us to put together a comprehensive fabrication package for 2 NIH approved face shield designs, which includes a short frame optimized for injection molding. Design decisions were informed by engineering and medical professionals throughout the entire process, and validated clinically with proper review and testing.
We are excited to be looking into manufacturing the short injection molded frames, however, without funding, we cannot get to higher quantities. In the meanwhile, we are still looking for makers with 3D printers to help us print out the tall frames, as these cannot be injection molded. We are also in need of more makers with cutting machines (Cricut, Silhouette, etc.) to help cut face shield materials, as well as those with laser cutters to help cut ear savers.
The PPE needs of the country, based on information from other non-profits (GetUsPPE, ProjectN95, AmericaMakes) and estimates (Johns Hopkins PPE estimate), continues to add up to quantities in the hundred million range.
While the needs of larger, better endowed hospitals and facilities may be met, many of the smaller clinics and private practices are still not properly protected. It will take a couple more weeks to stand up additional manufacturing processes across the country, and most supply chains are not projected to start meeting the demand for at least another month or two.
Given the uncertainty of how this pandemic will play out (since it's dependent on so many fluid variables), our goal is to continue to fill the gap until "the cavalry" arrive, and when we know that our friends, family, and communities are protected.