PPE for Milwaukee

We’re all living with the effects of COVID-19 and while we’ve temporarily closed Milwaukee Makerspace, we could not sit idly by while our community was in need.

There is an extreme shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for medical professionals. The people who keep us healthy and safe are currently unable to keep themselves safe. To combat this problem, the global maker community is creating and sharing PPE solutions around the world.

We have joined that effort. A few of our members have developed a face shield based on an existing popular design (the 3DVerskstan) but with modifications to the visor piece to make it easy to create on a CNC machine instead of 3D printing or laser cutting. We enter production this week and hope to make at least 1,000 face shields by Monday, April 6, 2020. (And then more to follow.)

We had planned to use a drag knife to cut out the clear face shield part, but then decided stamping them out with a die would be faster. As we talked to local companies, a few offered not only to create the die but also to stamp out thousands of face shields. This amazing donation is going to be a huge help.

So what’s next? Well, Milwaukee Makerspace is a 501(c)3 organization, all volunteer run, and we’ve got a few people who are doing a lot of work. Members are donating their expertise, machines, and materials, and some of them are donating their own money to this cause.

As an organization, we’ve also pledged a portion of our budget to this project, even though we’ve closed the space and suspended dues from members. We may be applying for grants to help us provide these PPE donations to local hospitals and clinics (and yes, we’ve already got a list of recipients we are working with.)

We have also set up a GoFundMe page to ask for donations from the Milwaukee community for the raw materials. Please share this page with your friends.

We are all volunteers trying to help our community. (At least three of our members were infected with COVID-19. Two of them had to be hospitalized.) This virus is affecting everyone, so we’ve all got to pitch in and help.

We hope our contribution will allow the medical staff of our hospitals to be safe.

Expect more updates soon… We’re all working as fast as we can, but we do want to share our progress on this as time allows.

Pictured above is our first prototype, which was a two-piece design to allow for tightly nesting the pieces for cutting. In discussion with one of the hospitals they did not want any metal hardware attaching two pieces so we’re switching to a one piece design.