COVID-19, 3D Printing 

I've had this new printer for probably two weeks now, and today is the first time I'm attempting a face shield visor.

I don't think people recognize a few things about :
1) Every printer is different. Every filament is different. We can get settings from other folks that set us ahead somewhat, but there's still a "dialing in" process.
2) Materials are different. They have different properties. Different projects need different materials.


COVID-19, 3D Printing 

3) Most people just use PLA as a material: it's cheap, it's usually quite easy, and it is NOT suited for something you might potentially autoclave. PETG IS better suited for that, and many folks don't mess with it much as it's a bit touchier. That dialing in process? PETG requires another, more finicky round.
4) This is, for most folks out there, a hobby. It requires much tinkering, and its rewards are basically "I brought a thing into the world."


COVID-19, 3D Printing 

5) It generally takes hours to bring a thing into the world. Something the size of a half-dollar US coin is maybe 30 minutes; four coins suddenly become close to two hours.

Let's put all this together.


COVID-19, 3D Printing 

Society at large faces a deficit of Things right now. 3D printing can create those things.

3D printing can create those things, slowly. Not all owners of a 3D printer will have the material best suited to creating the much-needed things. Not all owners of a 3D printer are ready to turn their finicky, high-tinkering hobby machine into a slow-ass production line,


BUSINESS can produce this shit far faster than we can, cheaply.

COVID-19, 3D Printing 

It is wonderful and incredibly gracious that people are out there, basically churning through the hobby supplies they bought and listening to the (admittedly semi-musical) whir of their machines day and night.

But there's a 3M factory somewhere that could print one of these, create a mold, and churn thousands of them out for a fraction of a penny each.

I don't see a goddamned soul asking it.

You might, though. You could.

COVID-19, 3D Printing 

There we are! A successful print. Another shield visor enters the world.

All it took was two failures and one hour, thirteen minutes of print time.

The ONLY reason individuals are being asked to take on this task is that individuals can be pressured into serving The Greater Good.

There's one more of these in the world, and there are so many people I could give it to. Option paralysis might mean no one gets it.


COVID-19, 3D Printing 

An additional "fun" note:

This, by itself, is useless.

To make it useful, I or someone else is expected to buy a commercial product and modify that product to fit this design.

You need to petition businesses. You need to demand streamlined mass-production.

As always, the Individual You Know can help a handful of people, while corporate pressure could help millions.

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