In March 2020 with the PPE crisis evident Tom set up a print lab in his home in Co. Clare. He began manufacturing a modified Verkestan edition that was produced by Prusa and encountered issues with quality control and durability of parts, he moved on to a modified N3DPS version produced by the National 3D Printing Society in the UK and started producing Visors 24/7. This model was more durable, had less of an impact on the user’s skin and could be stacked to print 10 or 30 at once depending on the printer.
He reached out to contacts in healthcare in Limerick, Nenagh and Ennis to identify demand and create a distribution network. Once that demand was steady he contacted the nursing homes in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary and began donating Visors and face shields to the staff and residents who were badly in need. He crowdfunded €4000 to fund the purchasing of filament, printers and replacement parts to continue the operation. TUS created a PPE distribution and sanitizing hub in the Aula Maxima hall. They brought together a network of Makers manufacturing from home in the hope of lessening the impact on Frontline Healthcare workers. Collections and deliveries were run on a volunteer basis by Bike Marshalls from Limerick and Clare.
Between March and July Tom manufactured and distributed 2500 face shields to hospitals and nursing homes across Clare, Limerick and Tipperary. The equipment he used is an integral part of theCADlab’s capabilities and is expanding every year.