Upon cancellation of the 2020 robotics season, KnightKrawler began 3D printing face shields to donate to health care workers, essential workers and other members of the community. We created an online ordering system that allowed anyone to request free face shields through our website. Soon, the number of orders we received for free face shields far exceeded what we could produce. With demand exceeding our production capacity by several thousand, we reached out to other robotics teams and community organizations asking for help. Several other teams staring printing to help us fill demand. Soon after, a large local manufacturer started crating injection molded visors and offered to give us nearly 20,000 units to help us fulfill our orders.
By the end of the summer in 2020, KnightKrawler had delivered over 25,000 free face shields to people who had ordered them from our website. In addition, the team cut, cornered, and punched over 11,000 clear face shield plastic parts. The extra parts were shipped to teams and organizations all over the country who were able to 3D print visors, but could not find the clear plastic needed to complete a full face shield.
KnightKrawler delivered over $250,000 worth of free PPE to those who desperately needed it in a time when it was very difficult to obtain these critical resources. In recognition of our work, the Minnesota Technology Association awarded KnighKrawler Robotics, along with 3M and the University of Minnesota, the prestigious Tekne award in recognition of our contribution to the community COVID response.
Funding for the faceshield project is now complete. However, if you would like to support KnightKrawler in our robotics endeavors you can donate through our PayPal below. If your company has interest in becoming an official sponsor, please see our sponsorship page.
KnightKrawler Robotics is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions to the team are tax deductible. Please contact us first if you would like to make a large donation or need a W9 tax form.
The Mounds View Schools Education Foundation has donated $5,000 to be used for supplies.
Mounds View Public Schools has loaned us 3D printers and space to run our production shop.
If you would like to run a face shield production shop but are in need of 3D printers, we recommend contacting your local school district. They likely have 3D printers that are going unused. If 3D printers are not an option for your group, there are some face shield designs available online that do not require 3D printing. You can also find a number of face mask designs for those that have a sewing machine.
Keeping your volunteers safe:
KnightKrawler is printing the Stratasys visor. This visor has been approved by the FDA and VA. KnightKrawler chose this design because it works with any clear plastic with a 3-hole punch. This makes it possible to replace damaged shields with basic office supplies without any special tools. Another popular design is the Prusa design, modified for the American 3-hole punch. This design is more durable, but takes 2-3 times longer to print. There are many options available and they are easy to find on the internet. If you are using a design that has not yet been approved by the FDA, please contact the facility to which you plan to donate, to ensure they will accept the design before you print them.
We have found that we can tweak the configuration of our printers and slicers to dramatically improve print speed. Many printers/slicers are configured for quality and detail. By adjusting your layers, and speed, you will see noticeable improvements. We have cut the time of our Stratasys prints down from 87 minutes to 56 minutes, per visor. PLA can typically print faster than other 3D printer filaments. You can take advantage of this fact by trying speeds above the default. PLA does not hold up as well to strong solvents, compared to PETG, but is more cost effective, prints faster, and has been approved by the FDA.
We are here to help. If you need advice on setting up a shop, 3D printing or anything related, please email COVID19@team2052.com