COVID-19 and 3D Printing

COVID-19 and 3D Printing

The current COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the world in ways never before seen. I mean sure- we have had plagues and disease in the past- but this is the first time in history where we are not only fighting the disease itself, but also trying to outpace the influence of inaccurate information being propagated faster than the spread of the actual virus. Social media and global connectivity have never before played such a huge role in a pandemic situation like this before.

There are many organizations rallying the "Maker Troops" to assist in providing supplies for the medical communities (see separate blog on this) and it is wonderful how people are stepping up. However, not all makers are setup to print in the materials needed, have a clean enough environment to print medical grade parts-or simply don’t have the funds to purchase the materials needed to produce parts for medical usage. That said, there are many ways in which those with 3D printers can still help out- and the beneficiaries might even be a little closer to home.

With so many people displaced from their jobs or working from home, there are many practical items that can me printed or made to assist in their productivity. Likewise, with all the schools closed and children needing to be kept at home there is an opportunity here to help print educational items and toys to make their shut-in a little bit easier. Also, there are plenty of assistive devices out there that can be put together pretty easy to help maintain social distancing and minimize the chance of exposure to the virus.

Here are just a few examples of things that your printers can be tasked with doing. These are all fairly easy prints, can be made from any material and don’t require medical levels of sanitation:
COVID and 3D Printing
For many people now working from home they are being forced to work off a laptop computer without access to their full size, and ergonomically placed monitors. A simple way to help ease the strain of this is by placing the laptop on a riser stand that brings the screen up closer to “normal”monitor height. This of course assumes that they have access to a separate mouse and keyboard. Simple designs like this one by Peter Moulds can be printed fairly quickly, require no additional hardware and can help get that screen up where it’s better suited.
For people that do NOT have an external keyboard and mouse, alternate designs that just give a little lift to make typing more comfortable, such as this one by Giovanni Varazani, care a good option.
For kids stuck at home you have a lot of options for things to entertain and educate them. These Procedural Marble mazes by Fernando Jerez will entertain for hours!
For those younger kids, the #3DBlockZoo started by SparkyFace5 are quick fun prints that will keep their imaginations going! Here’s an example of a few of her designs, but just search for Block Zoo and many other models will come up.
If you have a toddler at home, here’s a great puzzle by Bas that’s easy to print that is both educational and fun for the wee ones.

MyMiniFactory.com has an entire section dedicated to educational prints, covering everything from Biology and Chemistry,to History and Math. Surely these is something to help all grade levels.
There are lot of assistive devices out that can also help reduce the chances of spreading the virus. One example is this Hands-free Door opener by Olafejs.
Personal Door Handle by Nick Dimelow AKA Bugman140
Bugman140 also has this handy Personal Door handle that you can take with you for those time where you must leave you house to stock up on essentials. Be sure to use the cover and keep it sterilized!

If you really must touch your face, there is this handy Face Scratcha by BTHRE3D that can be sterilized with Isopropyl Alcohol and carried with you.
Prusa Printers
Prusa Printers is also running a contest for designs on Best Everyday Life Necessities: just one more way to share your ideas on how to deal with being Safer At Home. More details at: https://www.prusaprinters.org/contest/14503

These are just a few of the things you can do to help around your own household and help others while you are staying home and staying safe.There are plenty of other great ideas out there available on the popular download sites like myminifactory.com, thingiverse.com and prusaprinters.org. Use your imagination,print great things and be sure to share your ideas online! Be sure to tag FilamentOne on Twitter and Instagram when you post your makes so we can help boost your ideas for others to make too!

Guest post by: 
Chris Russell
https://twitter.com/crussty
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