Just over a week ago, a Facebook post by David Sciberras went viral for the best reason ever. Sciberras, the director of Invent 3D, had just finished designing a DIY, printable face shield to help his friends in the healthcare sector and anyone who needed protection in these trying times. Barely seven days later, the project has evolved into an unprecedented nationwide push.
With demand for the masks going through the roof in a matter of days, David and all the collaborators who quickly rose to the occasion were producing anywhere between 200 and 300 face masks every single day. “It just doesn’t stop,” he told Lovin Malta some days after production kicked off. “We’re at it 18 hours a day.” Now, however, much-needed reinforcements have arrived straight from the top.
Yesterday, Education Minister Owen Bonnici announced that 40 3D printers from all over Malta’s schools had been collected and set up in one Żabbar school hall to help meet the added demand of the vital equipment.
“We wanted to give a helping hand to David Sciberras,” Bonnici announced on Facebook. “This way, he’ll be able to produce way more masks. We’re determined to always continue collaborating to help our healthcare professionals. A massive kudos to David and his team.”
“Surreal,” a humbled Sciberras posted on Monday afternoon from the scene. “A print farm setup overnight in the Żabbar Primary School, thanks to everyone who helped make this project a reality.”
“These printers are all going to be used to manufacture Face Shields for Mater Dei for free.”
“If anyone would like to volunteer manning these printers, it would be most helpful!” he continued.
David even went live from the Żabbar ‘print farm’ to show everyone the sheer manufacturing power that the initiative had just gained, with dozens of printers going at it, producing different parts of the colourful shields.
In the meantime, while anyone with the knowledge – or tech – to help out is being urged to do so, the design is even free to download and print.