Tech-savvy local responds to PPE call

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

Balclutha electrical technician Craig Greenall is proud he can help out as New Zealand health workers seek replacement PPE gear.

Mr Greenall has added his home-based 3D printer setup to 299 others currently in operation under the ShieldsUpNZ campaign around the country.

“I saw the callout on a web page about four weeks ago. They were asking people with home-based 3D printing setups to help make frames and shields for frontline medical people, nurses, doctors, dentists and care workers in their own local areas,” Mr Greenall said.

He said the whole operation was based on regional demand.

“The health workers ask for replacement stocks to ShieldsUpNZ.

‘‘They then ask for those in that specific area to help out. We print them out, cut out the visors, clean them up and deliver them to a central collection point, who then pass them on to those who need them.

“My furthest package went to Outram. Here others go to local hospitals, rest homes and dentists all around the South,” he said.

“All up I have completed 150 frames so far and have just started another batch. We are all now working on helping develop ear savers to protect the ears of users of face masks.’’

He said all those involved gave their time freely, and also donated the materials used.
“The basic materials come from component supply companies who give us a good discount on the filament we use.

“I run my printer continuously and am up at odd hours replacing filaments or restarting it. My printer can make a frame in about 90 minutes.

“I work on the frames throughout the week and each Friday pack them all up and courier them north to Dunedin for distribution.”

He said he had heard about health workers working with little or no PPE gear so he had to do something and he was proud of what he had created.

“We have a great community here in Otago and we are carrying on with the scheme even though we have moved into Level 3.’’

ShieldsUP also has a givealittle page for those who want to help.