Uptime Blog

Making a Difference, One Homemade Face Mask at a Time

xMatters Is Making a Difference, One Homemade Face Mask at a Time
Chris Patch ON Apr 15, 2020

The xMatters 3P (Personal Progression Program) is meant to encourage and help all xPerts (as we call ourselves) pursue personal, family, or team projects. The official instructions are to “be as creative as you like, or simply get after that goal you’ve been putting off for reasons that you can’t even remember now”. Often employees use 3P to learn new skills, get in shape, or complete family projects. Like so many people, we’re working remotely and thinking about the people on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. The culture that inspired 3P got me thinking about how to make a difference in our corner of the world.

Through our participation in 3P over the past few years, the Patch family has established a different sort of family time: we set up a home CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine and a 3D printer to learn new skills and, in the process, taught ourselves all about small-scale manufacturing. This past month, after learning about the shortage of medical gear and the worldwide maker movement of volunteers to help fill the void, we decided to use these new skills to manufacture personal protective equipment to help those in need stay safe.

After some thought, my family started producing homemade face masks and shields for volunteer workers who work with vulnerable people in places like local soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

Here’s a quick look at the process we used for this project. BTW, it might look smooth in these pictures, but there were a lot of iterations!

Using the 3D printer to create frames

Using the 3D printer to create frames

To the CNC to cut shields

To the CNC to cut shields

This is the first order of 50 mask frames and 150 face shields for a local non-profit, ready for pickup, with many more to come:

Face masks with shields boxed for delivery

Boxed for delivery

Face mask with shield in use!

Face shield in use!

This time of crisis is difficult enough already, so we’ve created some resources to help get you through it. Learn more about:

We’re just one family trying to make a big difference in the lives of the real heroes of this strange time in our lives. If you have the ability to help, the entire world needs it. Find out how you can pitch in from home and let’s beat this together!

Try xMatters today!