Tomago Aluminium supports those on the Frontline

The COVID-19 epidemic is putting immense strain on hospitals and supply chains around the world.

In some places hospitals are running out of equipment and suppliers cannot produce and deliver it fast enough. Other medical professionals, from GP's to first responders are also put at risk due to their normal jobs not requiring these high levels of PPE and they are now facing an extremely high risk of contracting this virus and then infecting their patients.

To help fill the gaps in these supply chains and provide protection to the most vulnerable people, engineering firms, car manufacturers, military logistics and an army of volunteers with 3D printers have stepped in to help.

Locally this is where Tomago Aluminium has also stepped in, after seeing the first stories of 3D printed ventilator valves and 3D printing face shields for hospitals, our Innovation Engineer, Brodie Fairhall, decided to see how we could help.

He found that there were thousands of people and businesses like ours who were willing to donate materials, volunteer their equipment, time and expertise, but no one seemed to know where to start. Brodie contacted Hospitals, Health departments, MP's, Medical device manufacturers and engineers to produce a set of guidelines on how these volunteers could valuably contribute. 

Quickly he became the coordinator who is liaising with hundreds of volunteers from 3D printing enthusiasts to doctors and medical engineers. The group is capable of producing vast amounts of PPE for medical personnel every day who now have the correct contacts and expertise to ensure everything is being completed quickly and to the correct standard and quality.

It took some time, scores of online meetings and phone calls but designs and procedures are now being approved at Hospital and State Government level. Systems have been created to automate orders and coordinate manufacture, sterilisation and delivery to larger organisations. 3D printed face shields and other items, such as hand-free paddles to let people open doors with their forearms and feet are being delivered to regional clinics, GP's, optometrists, ambulance stations and other health providers around the country.

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