We have switched to a donation based model, as our local hospital said that they are not in a position to fund raw resources. I have created a Go Fund Me page for funding instead. It is now "we" as I am not working alone at this point. I have made revisions to the printing perimeters to shave off hours per print. Amazon has sent some of my shipments out early. The CNC controller I have is Dud.
I will be our only on-site technician at the mill this week, so I will be super busy in general. I will be able to remotely manage the farm. I am tuning to make sure the it is autonomous without my presence otherwise.
I have friends and colleagues who have decided to help out with production and distribution. A huge shout-out to those I have been working with to make sure these get these shields out to those who need them.
Printing Speed and Reliability
I have cut down on print times by increasing layer height to .3mm and printing at a width of .6mm instead of .4mm. I have also tuned speeds to be a little higher than the faster speeds I would normally print PETG with and layer adhesion seems to be holding.
Even with the previous settings, I would have failures with the seams between the mask frames when printed in stacks. I am tuning today to reduce speeds at these layers to prevent the issue from happening. I may have to increase fan speed at these layers as well.
At this point I have printed about 80 of the head bands and need to catch up with the bottom shield re-enforcement. Given I can get the reliability up, I will be able to print over 20 a day given the raw resources.
I received the Amazon Basics 5Kg of PETG Friday and have been chewing through through three of the five spools. This was a day ahead of time, and just in time for me running out of reserve filament.
Early next week, I should be getting elastic banding, 60 sheets of plastic (not amazon), and another 8Kg of Sunlu PETG. These would be 2 weeks ahead of schedule.
I made an additional order for 6Kg more Sunlu after that as well.
My CNC controller (grbl Arduino shield) or stepper driver it came with seem to be trash unless there is some magic sauce I am missing. I have ordered a replacement on amazon and will see how fast it get here. I am going to try to get the CNC wired before it arrives.
I have a fallback option through a machinist in Cambridge who I might be leaning on heavily going forward for shaping the clear plastic sheets. Once the first sheets are done we will be able to send out the first shields for cleaning and use.
I have set up a Go Fund Me so we can get at least 400 of these out the door. My personal budget is limited and exhausted between the AC unit (300 dollars) and Raw materials (500 dollars) needed to get things running around the clock. I will be looking to make the best purchases to get the resources needed to make the shields, but we are limited by whats in stock and where.
A huge thanks to everyone who has already made donations. I cant express enough how much it helps us get the job done to protect those on the front lines in this epidemic.