While most buildings in Baltimore remained empty Monday morning, Nick Aello and some of his colleagues were carrying 3D printers from the Design Collective office to Nick’s car. Nick was one of many responders to the call for help that came late last week, when local maker-space Open Works asked those with access to 3D printers and laser cutters to help create face shields for medical professionals working against the spread of COVID-19. Nick is Open Works certified, meaning that he’s taken courses to safely operate fabrication machines including laser printers, routers, and woodcutters. When he saw a post by Open Works Director, Will Holman, asking for help, he was quick to approach DCI leadership.
Nick and the DCI team agreed to lend their 3D printers to the cause, using the printing material they had in-house to fulfill what they feel is an obligation to the greater good. They weren’t the only ones who felt this way; within 24 hours, over 130 people and nearly 300 printers were at the ready, prepared to upload the provided files and begin production. While laser cutters create the shield part of the mask, 3D printers produce the piece which secures the shield to the worker and helps the plastic shield retain its shape.
While DCI, deemed an essential business, remains open, Nick and many other employees are working remotely. Nick opted to bring the printers and materials home, just in case office doors were shut. Now, hooked up in his living room, the printers hum away in production, each piece expected to take 3 hours to produce.
Organized under the banner of Makers Unite!, Open Works has emphasized and implemented a process that ensures sanitation, quality control, collection, and distribution. Once Nick and the Leadership team figured out logistics of moving equipment and materials outside the office, helping was a no-brainer.
“If our talents this week require us to fabricate medical components for our local hospitals, then we are happy to help out in whatever way we can,” Nick says, citing the importance of supporting local hospitals where their loved ones and neighbors work.
“First and foremost, DCI is a Collective, not just within our firm, but within the City of Baltimore.”
Example searches: LEED, interiors, "Design Collective", etc.
Begin adding projects to your collection.