It hasn't taken me long to get from working out how to 3d print for the first time to a point where I'm able to put my borrowed printing to good use by helping to print visor parts for the NHS.

There are a number of organisations coordinating the huge task of printing protective visors for front line staff and I registered with 3D Crowd UK who after introducing myself and chatting with a few people on their Slack channel, found the online community to be incredibly welcoming and helpful indeed.

I was able to find and download the files they provided without any trouble and although I was surprised at how long the print took, I had my first headband and lower screen reinforcer successfully printed. In order to achieve the best quality possible, the process of printing them is slow, which is why it is really important that as many people as possible register their printers to help.

I encountered another slight issue and that was to do with the size of my printing platform. It is just a few millimetres too small for the band and I could only print them out be tilting them slightly. All is not lost though, my region's coordinator who I've been chatting to over Slack has managed to find someone local who prints the headbands but doesn't like printing the smaller components on the grounds that it slows down their process. The two of us are now working together to produce complete kits and I'm very pleased to say my first batch has been delivered to the central distribution point.

Here are some of the Wiltshire NHS 3d printing community, featuring yours truly photographed outdoors in his slippers!

If you have a 3d printer, please consider registering to help here. At the time of writing this, there were over 5,500 registered volunteers but more are needed. There are other ways you can help too by making a donation towards printing materials here.


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