Corona Virus and the maker community

I’ve noticed on a few 3D printing forums there has been an emphasis to create and help print out parts for respirators and other medical equipment to fight the Corona Virus. Could our community help out by designing and machining other items that may aid to decrease spread or in the treatment of those affected?? I know there are some very talented people in the Carbide Community, Maybe a Future Carbide Community weekly build?

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One thing folks can do right now is if you have N95 respirator cartridges which are unopened, in like new condition, and unexpired see if your local hospital needs them and donate them.


I had a wild though the other night, thinking about the economic slow down during this time. I have no idea whether it’s a good idea or complete silliness. The gist is as follows:

  • a lot of hobby makers are home bound
  • the economy is in a slow down with so many staying home
  • what if makers who’d considered selling products (but haven’t) did so now, agreeing to donate a heavy portion of their revenue (say, all but materials) to support the current crisis
  • makers willing to do this could identify their products on Etsy and similar during this time

In other words, you’ve been thinking about selling widgets, but haven’t. So during this time, get your stuff on Etsy, identify it as belonging to this movement (e.g. a badge which I was thinking could be called “Makers Unite” or similar), people buy the widget and get something awesome, while at the same time essentially donating to charity. In return, the maker has gotten their stuff out into the world for future recognition/recommendations, as well as contributing to to the global COVID-19 effort.



Didnt Etsy just change a bunch of things with advertising and screw the makers even more recently with fees?

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I have no idea. I 1) don’t actually have Etsy experience and 2) would substitute “any maker selling platform” anywhere I used it :slight_smile:

Edit: yes, yes they did appear to make ad related changes that at least some really dislike.

Currently etsy is putting the screwing on hold until this bug passes…with that said etsy has clearly become a amazon jr…I like the idea of helping others out by off loading inventory is a great idea

What’s the next option?

Here’s some alternatives. I don’t have any online sales at all, but I see Square Space ads all the time on YouTube. Is that a better route?

I use square space for my floor refinishing business…setuping a “e-commerce” website takes some work…:neutral_face: I still haven’t figured out to social networking side of it…

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How about Facebook Marketplace?

After some reflection on this topic…I think kickstarter would be the best option…with something simple of design that we all could machine to meet demand…I am thinking a “coin” design “covid-19 quarantined…but not alone” …just my thoughts anyone else have ideas

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I see a LOT of articles being posted about making things with 3 d printers and being lasered or cut with CNC.
I would caution everyone that is contemplating making stuff, to insure that what you make is being tested. Yes, that is what I said. TESTED in a Lab that quality control tests these things every day. Otherwise YOU may be putting people that you love and others at risk. Virus protection is not for the tinkerer. And that is what we are here, tinkering. How would you feel if your toy respirator failed after being placed in service? How would your pocket book feel if someone dies over this? A LOT lighter. Be careful, stick to thinks YOU know…


I like this idea. Did you launch something in the end? I would be willing to participate.

Fello tinkerers, had similar thoughts on making my personal version of a CPAP/Respirator (as a backup), the concept was a basic forced air (filtered using a 3M 2800 AC filter section)version, just needed to adapt the 3M 6503 shop mask to a CPAP hose, and build a small cabinet from 1/4 acrylic sheet. Please see photos below?
Now i have an N95 forced air portable shop mask after this is all over.

Love this little SHAPEOKO 3







@sliso Sounds like you are a CPAP user, so the word “backup” caught my eye. If you are a user, then you should know that the air machine is not just a fan blowing through a tube. It is a sophisticated pressure and flow measuring device that controls a fan pressurized chamber. The same could be said for a “Respirator” device.

As noted above by @Liferj and not that you are, but implying here that we CNC “tinkerers” could build a viable substitute for that kind of device is absurd. Without going into details, I know that it takes much electronics knowledge to create such a device.

In the spirit of your post, one could build a device like yours to temporarily replace the nonexistent N95 filters, but no forced air would be needed and without some kind of pressure control, might be detrimental to your respiratory health.

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While the word “absurd” is a bit strong, we would have to strongly advise anyone doing any such experimentation to do so in coordination with licensed medical professionals and in a way which complies with any applicable FDA regulations.

Folks interested in this sort of thing should see the link:

If you do such work collaborating with medical professionals and following all FDA chain of custody rules, we’d be glad to hear of it, once testing is successful, but we do not want to hear of anyone being injured, or exposed to an illness or other harm due to misguided experimentation done without proper safety guidelines.

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Will I disagree with you. I hear a number of people whining the maker masks/face shields are not certified. Well my son is an ICU nurse in Seattle treating these people and when they run out of PPE he’ll go in anyway and treat the sick. Just like when he was a medic in the army and was there for the wounded while under fire. He’s resigned that he’ll get sick sooner or later.

I don’t GARA about certification if

(1) the item is used when nothing else is available (better than nothing)
(2) the item is used over an existing certified mask to extend its life

Sorry, we’re closely invested in this and had to vent. It’s really bad out there in places

If your son as a licensed medical professional wishes to work with folks thus, that is his decision to make. I said nothing to indicate that that wasn’t a valid position, so long as all legal requirements are met.