As the message quickly spread about Limbitless Solutions’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak by 3D printing components of medical face shields for healthcare workers, the non-profit organization has continued to ramp up its production efforts, amplifying its impact even further in the Orlando community. While normally building 3D printed bionic arms, the organization pivoted manufacturing efforts in March to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
Limbitless now has the ability to send each visor component they create to Orlando Health, through its active participation in a nationwide 3D printing coalition led by Stratasys, to support its own hometown medical heroes. In addition to the visors, Limbitless will also send new 3D printed “earsavers,” hooks that are placed behind the ears to reduce pressure and increase comfortability while wearing surgical masks, specifically for Orlando Health.
“We are really excited to be able to direct our production to support Orlando Health,” says Albert Manero ’12 ’14MS ’16PhD, CEO and co-founder of Limbitless Solutions. “We want to thank their staff and doctors for the tireless efforts to protect and heal our community. With the ramped-up production, Limbitless expects this week to ship our 600th face shield component, in addition to our 400th earsavers to support Orlando Health.”
The non-profit has been working diligently to double production capacity in its laboratory. Despite reduced staff in-lab, the once daunting goal to supply local hospitals now feels more achievable with the knowledge that they are working alongside other makers and manufacturers.
The Limbitless team has been inspired by the Central Florida community and its response to the call to support hospitals and medical responders at the end of March. As the need for medical equipment spread on social media and local news outlets, countless members of the community have stepped up and reached out to local hospitals about how they can get involved. The Stratasys led coalition has now shipped over 54,000 face shields to 90 plus different facilities around the country, working towards a goal of 100,000 shields by the end of April. In July 2019, Limbitless announced a partnership with Stratasys to support the organization’s bionics research and development. In these unpredictable times, the team is grateful for the opportunity to help create #3DHope for medical professionals and the global community.
While Orlando Health has no shortage of personal protection equipment, the health system continues to work with community partners and leading national coalitions, like Stratasys, to strengthen the supply chain in continued efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The message is to encourage community partners to ramp up support.
“As you are likely aware, many places across the country are experiencing a shortage of personal protective equipment. At Orlando Health, we are closely monitoring and managing our supply levels as the health and safety of our team members, patients and overall community remains our focus,” says Michael Schmidt, Orlando Health’s Managing Director for Strategic Innovations. “To diversify resources, Orlando Health is now accepting homemade masks along with 3D printed face shields and mask extenders known as ‘earsavers’.
Public earsaver donations will be accepted Monday through Friday, each week, between 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the following location: Orlando Health Corporate Services Building 1315 Atlanta Ave. Orlando, FL 32806.
As the battle against the pandemic continues, local support will be key to keeping enough equipment stocked to support hospitals. Limbitless Solutions has also teamed up with other community members, including Brett Kingstone from Max King Realty, who is coordinating efforts to cut the shielding components for 2,000 medical face shields.