We’re not the ones who need to see the announcement that you’re 3D printing face shields.
It’s June, which means that much of the world has now been enduring the COVID-19 pandemic for some months. Here in the US, we’re about three months in to restrictions put in place to help limit the spread. Many of the personal protective equipment (PPE) designs that have so beautifully sprung up in the 3D printing community have now been available for — well, also three months.
The beauty of this technology is its fast response, and the industry and community were impressively speedy to leverage that response time to get PPE and other need-it-now parts quickly to those on the frontlines who need them.
We’ve been covering 3D printing community pandemic responses through all of this, from face shield designs emerging to larger-scale initiatives to help match those who need with those who can make, from collaborations to create 3D printed nasopharyngeal test swabs to cancelled events in a time when mass gatherings are impossible.
But now that we as a world have been living in this time of modern pandemic for some months, and with such impressive and truly global response from 3D printing, we at Fabbaloo have what sounds like a strange ask:
Please stop sending us your 3D printed PPE press releases.
Now, hear me out. I don’t mean don’t share news our way, or engage us in the conversation. I certainly don’t mean that we don’t care about your efforts. We care very deeply, and we’re so glad to see this technology we all love so dearly being put to these life-saving, protective uses.
The thing is, when you’re making a few dozen, or hundred, or even a couple thousand 3D printed face shields — we’re simply not the ones who need to know about that.
We — and many 3D printing news sites like us — are here as a broader resource. We do our part to share out specific cases of need when we can, but we’re not your best resource for connecting to the people in your specific local area who could use your skills (or your donated PPE).
Local media and, more helpfully, local hospitals are the folk who need to know about your efforts. That way, your announcement can be directly actionable as those in your local community will know about available resources and can quickly get in contact.
We’re not the biggest news site around, but even so, our home is the internet: our audience is global. Not only is sharing out every announcement of every local effort impossible for our small team, but our readers are located around the world.
Coordination and collaboration efforts, widely matching up efforts of makers with those local to them, are of great interest for us, as these are resources widely applicable to our global readership.
We’re happy to keep reading, sharing, facilitating, and applauding efforts among the 3D printing community to help — and this is one small way, in suggesting a better route for your announcements. Localization is a major benefit of 3D printing, and should be a major focus in sharing PPE PRs.