In the weeks of March 2020 it appears increasingly evident that the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is no longer just a problem in China, and sees the first massive spread outside the Asian continent in the Lombardy region. With it, the sudden lack of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.
Great attention is given by the Regions for the production and emergency certification of protective masks and gowns at the expense of other PPE.
GaraGeeks sees an opportunity to help make a difference: build protective visors with their 3D printers.
On 22/3/2020 the first frame was designed with 3D CAD and, after 7 different revisions, the first prototype was ready the next day.
The 3D file was released under a Creative Commons license on the Thingiverse portal, so that anyone with a 3D printer can produce it.
A couple of days to recover raw materials, amidst the logistical difficulties caused by the lockdown, and production is started.
Several newspaper articles report the production of protective visors by GaraGeeks.
Although the frame parts were printed with five 3D printers, at a rate of 20 pieces per day, a substantial manual labor was required for cutting the Plexiglas sheet and assembly.
Thanks to a strong team spirit, over 350 visors have been sold and used in various contexts: from pharmacies, to nursing homes, to a renowned high fashion brand: Missoni.
This initiative was the first documented in Italy. Subsequently, several voluntary initiatives, independent from ours, took shape, demonstrating the flexibility and immediacy allowed by rapid prototyping technology with 3D printing.