Responding locally to COVID-19

We have a (closed) workshop full of tools – from sewing machines to 3D printers and a laser cutter – and hundreds of members with a huge range of skills and enthusiasm. We had to help..

We’re fundraising in order to use these facilities in whatever way is needed to respond locally to the COVID-19 pandemic – right now our focus is making and distributing face shields to medics and other public facing staff who run the services that keep the country running.

We’re raising money to cover costs so that we can continue supplying the shields for free to front-line carers. Each shield costs about £1 to produce – any donation you can make will help make a difference. Thank you for your support

One of our face shields – they fit comfortably over glasses or other PPE:

We’re using our laser cutter to produce a design developed by our friends at Smoke and Mirrors and Kitronik and aiming for ~2000 in the coming week alone.

The parts are prepared in our workshop and then distributed to a team of volunteers who assemble and distribute them.

We’re also 3D printing the Verkstan face shield – a much slower process, but we’re creating a mini 3d Print farm to speed things up (and members are printing at home too).

SLMS Shields in action

But won’t huge amounts of PPE start flooding the market from imports/mass production soon?

We hope so! And we’ll be ready to put our resources into whatever is next – this is a long haul flight!

We “know that we don’t know” what may be needed in a week’s time – but we believe local workshops and makers are ideally placed to act quickly in a way that traditional manufacturing simply cannot. For example: we recognise that a large factory can eventually produce tens of thousands of face shields per day to satisfy the demand – in which case we’ll be delighted… and we’ll move onto the next challenge.

The maker community has proven highly agile in this pandemic – a design can be dreamt up, prototyped, tested, distributed and manufactured worldwide within a matter of days – and improvements can be rolled back in during production.

How we got here…

At the end of March it became apparent that there was a severe shortage of PPE and face shields looked like something we could make – after some initial prototyping of our own we decided to start up small scale production of a design developed by Smoke and Mirrors and Kitronik: it was fast to make, easy to assemble, and the materials were available in large quantities, and – importantly – had already been accepted by an NHS practice in Nottingham. We ordered a bunch of materials and got making – we were able to supply some to local shops to subsidise shields for health and care workers, but to move up to the scale we want to produce at we decided to create this campaign.

Our Makerspace closed on March 17th due to COVID-19 but we’re opening up under strictly controlled conditions when an opportunity to help arises – from production of PPE to prototyping of medical equipment to…well, who knows what next?

To donate, please the button below. All money raised will go toward the PPE campaign. In the event of any surplus being left at the end, this money will be donated to a local NHS charity

Please Help Spread the Word!

If you or someone you know needs a face mask or your organisation needs some, please fill out the enclosed form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible..


Nottinghack Faceshield FAQ – everything you need to know about the lasercut face shield

Community and Mirrors – if you have access to a laser cutter and want to get involved, start here