Prototyping work funded by Sussex Community Foundation. Six new printers and materials were initially self funded, part of our costs were covered by Sussex Police and a Localgiving crowdfunding campaign
Back in the first Covid-19 lockdown, organisations across the UK responded to shortages of PPE (personal protective equipment) by firing up their own making equipment.
TechResort already had a couple of 3D printers, and heard about volunteer efforts elsewhere to make face visors. ‘How hard could it be?’ we thought, and set about prototyping them.
As local demand increased, the TechResort directors decided to scale up our work, spending some of our reserves on six new 3D printers. Sulu, Chekhov, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty joined Crusher and Troi that were already hard at work making visors.
By the end of the project, we made around 1700 face shields with most of them going to local GP surgeries, care homes, and community medics and caregivers. About 400 were sent to the 3D Crowd Sussex hub (in Worthing) to be used for a large hospital order they desperately needed to fulfil.
TechResort was well placed to do this work because we have kit, consumables and skills ready to hand. We’re set up to act quickly, trying out small things first, and then scaling up when we’re confident with a solution.
We showed that anyone can become a Maker. Over this project, we were joined by many volunteers who hadn’t done anything like this before. Now they’ve got a taste for it, it’s hard to stop!
Back in 2020 we hoped that government would start to recognise the value of creative and digital skills. In this case, it allowed Eastbourne to tackle a problem short term while longer term solutions were put in place. Since then, we’ve been asked to input to a government consultation on digital skills – we’re crossing our fingers that they will listen and act.