NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A Nashville start-up product design company is currently helping to address the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the COVID-19 pandemic by distributing FREE kits to willing volunteers across the U.S. to make clear protective “face shields” for EMS, healthcare and other essential workers. A single kit can be assembled at home, and produce 100 face shields with minimal time and setup and no special tools. B.T. Ulrich, CEO of TNSD and the person behind the movement, says it is geared to those that want to help and contribute, but don’t have special tools like 3D printers, and don’t know what materials to buy or which design(s) to use. “With the help of the broader online open-source design community of medical professionals, engineers, and inventors, we’ve focused on a design that requires no special tools or skills – which is key to allowing a wide range of small businesses, traditional community groups like churches and clubs, and even at-home individuals not able to work, the chance to contribute in a time of need.”
The company worked closely with active grass-roots design efforts, and from there focused on the supply chain, developing a set of tested, inexpensive, readily-available materials to choose from, and selecting only materials that can be drop-shipped from major suppliers to any location in the U.S. in 3 days or less. Mr. Ulrich went on to say, “empowering individuals and communities alike with the immediate resources to make PPE for direct use by their local healthcare and EMS workers, or others most in need, is our primary focus.” The kits include instructions for safe assembly and handling, guidance on logistics, as well as quality control and end-user documentation. The company has a help-desk and order-desk for processing and support.
The kits and final face shields have been well-received by both makers and healthcare facilities. A materials director at a local hospital said, “the donation is much needed, and we are thrilled to receive them. It goes a long way to keep all our service workers safe, not just nurses and doctors.” The Company continues to raise money through donations, and because the face shields are very inexpensive from a materials standpoint (only about $1.80 per shield, delivered), they have promised to provide as many kits as possible for FREE to volunteers that are willing to help (but donations are appreciated).
Volunteer assemblers wishing to receive a kit, or those that can’t assemble, but would like to donate to the cause, can simply email [email protected], or call 615-622-1168.