During the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, it soon became clear that demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect care workers from contracting Covid-19 was outstripping supply. We received numerous requests from individuals as well as companies and institutions asking for help.
The Lab joined an extensive army of makers across the country doing their best to support care workers with PPE. We explored a number of different options using the machines available in the Lab, and eventually contributed to several different initiatives, supplying PPE directly to care homes and hospices across London and Surrey, and running our 3D Print Farm at full tilt to manufacture plastic visors for the Maker Network and the PPE Initiative.
As the UK Government later became involved to help regulate and maintain the standards of the PPE being produced by the many different home and institutional makers involved, the Fabrication Lab joined the network established by the Department of Trade and Industry to establish standards and best practices for home PPE manufacture.