Southampton has become home to the central South’s 3DCrowd UK hub, providing 3D-printed PPE for doctors, nurses, medical and social care professionals. The premises result from a partnership between CRM CAD Limited and the Solent Business Centre.
Autocad technician, Craig Monk of CRM CAD is a volunteer for the nationwide network and has dedicated all three of his 3D printers to making parts for facemasks. He said, “It’s been a complete whirlwind. In just four weeks, 3DCrowd UK has gone from zero to over 8,000 volunteers. At first, we all sent our parts to a single distribution centre in Sheffield, but it soon became clear that regional hubs were required to get the kit collated and distributed quickly.”
Craig approached the team at Solent Business Centre on Millbrook Road, where he rents office space.
Laura Mills from Solent Business Centre said, “Craig had a marvellous idea and we were able to offer him free space for storing and assembling these facemasks which are so vital to the NHS.”
One week after his conversation with Laura, Craig opened the 3DCrowd UK Central South hub. “Nationally, we’ve had nearly a million online orders and expect to supply around 50,000 masks from the Southampton hub with requests coming from hospital trusts, GP surgeries and social care providers. I’ve got a team of volunteers lined up to pack and dispatch. They’ve all got partners and family working for the NHS, so they want to do their bit.”
With so many volunteers, 3DCrowd UK now needs more funding as this is the critical factor limiting supply of face shields at the scale required. You can support the appeal here
The Solent Business Centre normally houses around 80 businesses seeking office and workshop space and storage facilities. With 95% currently working from home, the Centre is supporting them as practically as possible to see out the lockdown.