At the beginning of the first COVID lockdown in the UK – March 2020, we like many other people didn’t know what effect the lockdown would have on our business. But we did know and feel like we needed to help our local community. This included the manufacture of protective face visors, using our 3D printers. These were first manufactured and distributed via a collaborative print farm, organised by Swansea University. We then decided to manufacture and supply directly to our local community, following the Prusa face visor design. These were supplied via friends and the volunteers at the Carmarthen Round Table to those who need them. The local council then got in touch and started ordering the face visors at 100 pcs a time. These were distributed around the town by the Council. We enlisted the help of Daisychain fabrics to improve the headband for the wearer.
At around the same time we manufactured hand sanitiser and decanted into handheld bottles. There were again supplied FOC to the local community via various channels. We estimate about 50L of hand sanitiser was supplied – equivalent to 500 bottles. Our efforts were covered by the Carmarthen Round Table and the local paper.
We were contacted by some staff members from Glangwili hospital requesting help to manufacture small adaptor parts for the CPAP machine. We were able to reverse engineer the parts and 3D printed some copied parts for trial. Two of these adaptor parts are required per patient. At the time only two of these adaptor parts were available at the hospital, and one was on my desk! Highlighting the desperation of the situation. We also liaised with a larger company to produce these parts on mass via injection moulding for the hospital. Thankfully the original parts eventually arrived through the normal distribution channels at the hospital and our emergency adaptor parts were never needed.
We also realised most of our colleagues, friends and clients were now working at home. So wanted to do something to brighten their days. We placed a big order with Alfies coffee co, for a custom coffee roast dubbed “Stribeck roast”. We then offered the coffee on social media free to anyone who likes coffee and tribology.
These were then posted out all over the UK, Europe and the USA. The response we received from this gesture was huge. With many people posting about the coffee on social media or getting in touch to say thanks.