HSBNE response to COVID- 19

Hi everyone,

I’m writing because I realise a lot of people are upset and dismayed, maybe even a little ashamed of how slow HSBNE’s responses have been to the covid pandemic so far.

We were quick to follow government orders to shut down and make sure everyone was safe, but we haven’t really responded to the message that people want to make something: namely make a difference in this pandemic. So I’m proposing that I will take coordinating lead in this and to that end I have several proposals I would like to put forward:

Firstly, we use some of the digifab course funds that are sitting there to create a ‘working pot’ for the response. HSBNE would purchase filament and other necessary supplies from this pot and then claim any government refund to go back to it. Members would also be able to donate to this pot in order to buy materials to fabricate things needed for the response. Donations would go through the normal HSBNE account, labeled ‘COVID Fund’, so the treasurer can keep track of this. If there is any excess at the end of the pandemic, then I propose we donate it to Lifeline or another charitable cause that’s been providing support.

  • Emily will handle buying and directing filament for PPE production.

Secondly, getting some of the tooling that is currently sitting idle on site and asking members to volunteer to babysit a machine in order to keep printing out necessary PPE gear. We would ask that members sign a care contract to make sure that tools are used for the purpose of a covid response and to make clear the responsibility and process in case of breakages or necessary maintenance.

  • We ask for volunteers who can or would like to take a printing machine to put up their hand.

  • We ask for volunteers who can or would like to take a sewing machine to put up their hand.

Thirdly, it has been brought to attention by @AntBee that the large laser cutter would be ideal for making medical smocks. However, the laser cutter is not in a workable state. It needs parts and programming. Therefore, I would like to coordinate with the landlord to have one, possibly two people to go on site to bring the laser cutter up to a workable standard. This pandemic is slated to go on for months, so even if it takes a long time to get the machine in working order it may be still useful in the months to come. I can’t guarantee that if we organise for this, that the landlord will approve.

  • We ask for volunteers who would like to work on the large laser cutter to please put up their hand.

Fourthly, Ventilators. There hasn’t been a call out for any yet, but I would like to discuss how we could make some should the need arise. This would be handled in a similar say to 3D printing- we wait until there is a set of standards in an official call-to-arms. But we can look at some of the options floating around internationally and start to think about sourcing materials, how to fabricate safely and transport of any machines.

  • We ask for one volunteer to put their hand up to lead this discussion.

I will also be putting this in an all-hands email to further the message on our response. Not all our members are online (or on top of their emails), so for those that have given us phone numbers, it would be good to get in contact and touch base with people. I realise cold calling is stressful for both the callie and the caller so I will write a short script for people to follow, if people approve of this idea.

  • We would ask for volunteers to do cold-calling to put their hand up.

Lastly, these efforts could be co-ordinated or documented on the Forum or the Wiki. I’m happy to maintain a COVID wiki page and keep discussion to General on the Forum. If anyone has a better suggestion, please let me know.

In summary, my goals for coordinating this are:

  • Correct models for printing/sewing
  • Directing payment for filament or materials
  • Directing any maintenance or necessary parts to get machines working
  • Coordinate who is printing what
  • Coordinate who is volunteering, and managing their workload
  • Collecting/delivering finished PPE
  • Documenting our progress

I have had my mendlemax2.0 on semipermanent loan to the space for a long time now. AFAIK its just missing a hot end (and perhaps an upgrade to the wades extruder). I’m happy for someone to take it on to get it running correctly and pressed into service. Its in digifab on the lower shelf, orange prints black extrusions. Please keep it as a 24v/240v system. There was also a plastic box with yellow handles that had a bunch of odds and ends but i havent seen it in ages and it might have gotten organised away.

I am currently printing stuff for 3Done at Salisbury, so I might be a bit far out for the HSBNE group to do anything.

Hi Emily,
I have started printing headbands on my printer, i even have a supplier number now.
So I’m happy to take one or both of the CR10s.
If I’m minding one i might as well mind 3
I only have one or two rolls of filament at the moment, but can mail order some more (I assume no Australian shortage?) , And the
Company I am printing them for has a reimbursement system for each item printed with estimates etc. If that’s ok,
Let me know the arrangements for picking them up and recommend a slicer (as i won’t be on HSBNE wifi but I have SD cards)
Eris .

Sent from myMail for Android

@Eris_Ryan I am happy to slice the model for the CR-10 if you want or if you want to use my licence for simplify3d and ill give you the profiles

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Sounds great. Any idea of the settings i should start with? (I am trying to get a good result with my flashforge creatorX PRO duel as well)


if thingiverse is struggling with the load here is a google drive link to the STL’s and project files/gcode for some common slicers (please check nozzle diameter):​


In preference PLA.

We can still help you with filament and @crofty is happy to help with gcode :slight_smile:

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Happy to contine work on this, Already have some parts ready to install, just needing approval from landlord and help from someone like @buzz if he is willing.


If you’re happy to take care of both, then I’ll take you up on that! I’ll go through the channel to clear pick up with the landlord and get in contact to arrange drop off to you.

Still working on the filament mechanism, but we’ll hopefully have that up asap.

Which company are you printing for? as members are quite disperse it may be easier to just direct people in the right direction rather than inserting myself as middle-management :slight_smile:

The company/email is fdm@3d1.com.au
They are printing themselves but demand is outstripping supply so they put a call out.

I think HSBNE exec simply needs to define a new set of rules by which limited numbers of members will be allowed onsite, and the terms etc, perhaps specifically and only for covid related matters, and run them by the landlord.

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Personally I’ve spent the last two weeks working on a Ventilator Design and Software with a small group of very smart people, outside of HSBNE, because hsbne closed its doors, making this kind of action at hsbne impossible. We have multiple working prototypes.

WIth regard to HSBNE, should it reopen in any way that makes it practical to use its equipment, I’m happy to try to move the big laser closer toward being functional, but it is absolutely NOT right now.

I would love to make the CNC run but just to make a mold for injection molding facemask parts… But as we no longer have an injection molder on site there seems no point. I also thought to build a PCR replication rack in aluminum the full size of the CNC with hundreds of peltier tiles, but apparently there are now portable machines with thousands of smaller test Wells so that seems pointless as of last week.

Hi @buzz, I’ll reply to your three posts in one to keep it simple.

  1. Yep, at the moment what’s being proposed is: 2 people, only to work on the large laser cutter for COVID purposes. I’m not confident we will get a yes on that small request, but we will ask.

  2. Sweet, I take it if I get any inquiries or emails on ventilators I can send them your way?

  3. Honestly, the shutdown came at a really bad time for working on several projects (the donated laser cutter, the metalshop CNC, the modifications for the grant CNC, the brown vending machine, the Media Cause… the list goes on). I hope that the request in no. 1 is granted, but if not, at the very least we can line up what needs to be done to get it back to working order when we return.

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Yeah, for me the difficult part of the response it trying to find out what will actually be used, or usable. No point getting a ton of stuff made for it to be chucked in the bin.

This is being written here as documentation- Phone call with @AntBee

Through his connections, Ant may be able to organise getting HSBNE re-designated as a workspace for the purposes of producing COVID-19 needs. This would mean we could organise for volunteers to go to the space to produce 3D prints en mass, without having to move the machines. It would also make a strong argument for members to be onsite to get the large laser cutter working in case other protective gear needs to be produced.

We would still look to go through official channels such as 3D one or similar, to ensure designs are what’s wanted and built to spec (Also, going through these channels reduces the headache of distribution).

Major items to consider, if we pursue this option:

  • Insurance
  • Sanitation
  • Handover process
  • Policing how many members are on site
  • How we can ensure social distancing
  • Rostering volunteers

I would be happy to volunteer time. I only have basic 3d printing skills. But if you need some one to say can do and will be available, thats me.

Also proficient with sewing

I have been contacted by the office of the minister of Innovation …science …whatever.
Keen to assist, perhaps we should discuss sometime soon.
AnT 0408351912