Brilliant Labs Magazine: Digital Hope

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started to develop a plan to quickly produce as many shields as possible. This company and the three young doctors who started it were quite aware of what Brilliant Labs was doing in Newfoundland and Labrador to promote maker education and coding. They approached us for the use of some 3D printers to get started and eventually the use of our laser cutter and vinyl cutter to prototype the actual shield. We provided what we could to assist (aid)them in their start-up process. Polyunity ordered new Ender 3 printers and, with the nine we provided, a small 3D printing farm was created. During my first two days at Polyunity, I built 10 of the first printers to arrive. As I had built over 50 of those already at Brilliant Labs, the setup did not take too long. After the printers were built, I asked Brilliant Labs if I could volunteer two days per week to help Polyunity to get started. Thanks to Brilliant Labs for allowing this to

happen! All of us found it difficult to work virtually for long periods of time. On a personal note, these two days really helped me by “getting me out of the house”. With approximately 25 printers running at once on the farm, my role each day was to maximize the production as much as possible. The frame of the mask is printed at the farm, while the shields where cut at another facility. My goal each day was to produce 600 frames in an 8-hour shift. Meeting the challenge of keeping all the printers going simultaneously was very rewarding. One of the most beneficial aspects of using 3D printing to produce parts is that changes in design can be implemented right away. All you have to do is tell the printer to print a new design. It fascinating to be part of the design and production process, and much was quickly learned as we went along. For example, tweaking printer speeds,

temps, and nozzle sizes enabled Polyunity to produce better designs and, at the same time, while increasing the daily yield. Most days I was asked for my feedback on the design and its processes, small changes were often made to ensure a better product. The frontline workers who used those shields then provided feedback that was used to tweak the designs. In an injection mold style of manufacturing, such modifications would be time consuming and expensive. A big thanks to Brilliant Labs for allowing me to be a part of this process, and also to Polyunity for valuing our input and efforts. Manufacturing with the use of (using) 3D printers is only just beginning. As printers get faster and more precise, along with the ability to use a variety of materials, we will see such technology assume a much greater role in the manufacturing industry. Brilliant Labs Magazine Revue Labos Créatifs