Makers are Making a Difference

Individuals and teams of makers are stepping up around the globe to help!

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The maker community has never ceased to amaze and impress. The community is a large reason why many of us have been drawn toward making things ourselves in the first place. In these unusual times, the maker community has started work to meet the challenges!

3D printing

3D printed Brim
Image from Prusa

3D printing has emerged as one of the main ways people have been able to use their skills to help others. There are a wide variety of prints people have designed and shared to help stay healthy, such as hands-free door openers or valves for medical devices.

Recently, a mask print has received FDA approval. There has been a tremendous amount of care and effort put into these designs, and it is heartening to know that they are being properly reviewed. NIH has even started their own page of "Reviewed for Clinical Use Designs," including a guide on what you can do to help.

Locally, many groups here in Colorado have come together to do what they can to help out. I want to highlight the Make4Covid organization - they have streamlined resources for makers, donors and equipment. Make4Covid helped us find a group of students and engineers at the University of Colorado who needed extra 3D printers to make face shield parts.

If you have a 3D printer that you are able to loan out, I highly recommend finding an organization like Make4Covid if you're looking for ways to help. If you have skills or equipment to share, consider adding your information to this 3D printing crowdsource document.

Sparkfun With Printers
Some of our 3D printers on their way to be utilized


Non Medical Grade Masks

The textile community has also been hard at work across the world. In many places, N95 masks are being reserved for those who need them most, and makers have been filling the need for masks that are effective but do not need to be medical grade. For example, Standard Issue has designed an open source mask that can be cut by a CNC machine.

Make has also compiled a good list of resources, which you can find here.

While pride fills my chest on any given day when thinking about the DIY/Maker community, it has been awe-inspiring to see the amazing things that have been done during this pandemic. Community means more than who you talk to about ideas, or where you get a nice snippet of code - it is who we take care of and who takes care of us in times of need.

Comments 3 comments

  • Wayne Seltzer / about 3 years ago / 3

    My Ender 3 has been printing face shield parts continuously, part of Make4Covid, on the CU Boulder ATLAS Institute team. Got a 3D printer? Want to help? Make4Covid can supply filament for you.

    Colorado continues to need PPE!


  • Member #134773 / about 3 years ago / 2

    Due to an injury (a broken leg) in a car accident a few weeks ago, I've ended up in "assisted living" for a few weeks. The "visiting nurse" gave me a cloth mask made by her mother and her mother's friend. I'm so appreciative! The paper mask I'd been given before was getting a bit worn...

    A word of wisdom, though, if you're making these: If you are using sewing elastic that comes "by the yard", don't be too stingy with it -- an extra 1/4" or 3/8" on each ear loop can make a great difference in the comfort for some folks (guess how I know!), and a little bit hanging out of the knots shouldn't annoy others.

    Many thanks to all who are making a difference!

    • J-Spark / about 3 years ago / 2

      Thank you for the great tip. A little extra comfort can go a long way when you are wearing a mask all day. I am sorry to hear about your leg. I wish you a full and speedy recovery!

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