JCRMRG’s 3D Health Hackathon Aims for Sustainable 3D Printed PPE


As we’ve mentioned many, many times over the last few months , the 3D printing community has really stepped up in a big way to help others as our world got turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic . The crisis hasn’t passed either, and makers are still offering their support in any way they can.
We’ve been telling you about all of the virtual events and webinars taking place in the industry as we struggle to remain connected, including a virtual nationwide 3D Health Hackathon , hosted by the United Way-sponsored Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group (JCRMRG ) and sponsored by several industry partners, including 3DPrint.com.
This all-volunteer collective has an interesting back story. JCRMRG was just formed in April, as the result of a Reddit post regarding personal protective equipment, or PPE. The post was a call to arms for 3D printing hobbyists to organize, in order to create and deliver face shields for medical workers and first responders in New Jersey and New York.

JCRMRG volunteers delivering face shields to hospitals

“I’m creating the jersey city rapid maker response group. calling all local makers and professionals with 3dprinters, laser cutters, etc, to come volunteer remotely…together. It’s time for us to get organized and help supply our local healthcare workers more efficiently, as a group,” the post states.
“if we band together, we will be able to get much more efficient at our production and distribution, and will be able to supply larger numbers to needed places quickly, addressing local needs in a smarter way.”

Since then, the group has engaged over 50 volunteers, responsible for 3D printing 5,000 face shields. JCRMRG has since switched to injection molding, and more than 75,000 face shields have been delivered to healthcare workers all around the US. Now it’s raising the bar with the virtual hackathon, which aims to take on PPE-related wearability, sustainability, and supply chain issues.

“Our goal is to be responsible partners in the eco-system that we are currently a part of, while acting as a catalyst for innovation, and we are the only all volunteer PPE group in the country doing an event like this. We want to pay it forward, and enable our hackers to walk away with enough feedback and support to launch their own successful ventures that can continue to support the battle against COVID, and combat supply chain disruption through maker-led initiatives,” said JCRMRG’s founder Justin Handsman.
JCRMRG’s Laura Sankowich told me that as of now, 25 hackathon teams from around the country have signed up, and the event will kick off at 6 pm on July 10th with a Zoom call between the panelists and judges. Initial design ideas will be presented in one of three categories — sustainable PPE, modular solution labs, and day-to-day PPE — and then the hacking will begin.
“The Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group is...

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