Firstly, we should say a huge thank you to everyone who has been part of this incredible journey. It has not been easy, there have been many highs and lows. However, if anyone said to you 4 months ago that you’d be part of a 8,000 strong community of 3D printers, assemblers, blaggers, delivery drivers, coordinators, hub managers, app makers, IT support marketers, sponsorship finders, fundraisers, video makers and conference organisers (to name but a few, the list really does go on and on) who together distributed 200,000 face shields to the NHS and Frontline workers. You would have likely laughed.
It’s because of this experience, drive and determination to work together to help solve such a massive problem that we are proud to talk about what comes next for 3D Crowd.
After three long months, the 3D Crowd admin team has decided to close our central Go Fund Me donations page and start to focus on the future of the 3DCrowd community. We decided to do this after reaching the milestone of £150,000 raised, this helped us fulfill the orders and reimbursements that we needed to distribute 200,000 face shields across the UK.
We now feel that the PPE crisis has, for the most part, subsided alongside moving to level three, as infection rates continue to come down. There is still demand a need in certain areas and we are exploring how best to support them going forward. We have played our part and done our bit to support the NHS and frontline workers across the UK, something that everyone involved should be very proud of. We are eternally grateful to all our donors and our makers, distributors, cleaners, hope providers, and commercial partners. We will still be taking orders and we now have a new general-purpose fundraising page which will give us the flexibility to fund other initiatives alongside face shields.
We’re very excited about the future of 3D Crowd, which really kicked off last week with the fantastic 3D Crowd Talks. Organised start to finish by Sam, our London Coordinator.
Held over 2 days with 16 talks by over 20 speakers from our incredibly talented community. The talks were watched over 1000 times and amassed over 500 hours of viewing time. These talks are now available via our YouTube channel. (Make sure you subscribe)
Based on community feedback, it was clear that our new purpose should focus on 3 Key Pillars.
3D Printing – Community – Education
We are now looking at different projects from helping to print prosthetic limbs to creating aids for the elderly to help them in their homes. We’re also looking further afield to see if there are ways to help other countries meet their PPE needs. We know the pandemic is not over and the shortage is still very real in other countries. We’re acutely aware that there is still a shortage in places in the UK and further afield, and we are looking at ways our community can help.
To be able to do all of these things we need people from our community to step forward and take on new roles to support these endeavours. From the groundswell of support, enthusiasm, and determination from our community we know there’s a place for 3DCrowd in the future and we hope that will span everything from making, to education, to community work, and supporting various organisations and charities across the UK and beyond. With our unique spread of specialist skills and the ability to make things incredibly quickly, we can solve real problems wherever they might be.
We also know that there’s a huge problem with recycling with 3d printing filament and that’s also something that we’re trying to resolve across a number of commercial partners and finding new ways to recycle or use filament. So we ask all 3DCrowd members to join us on our new adventure and help us to do even more. Let’s keep our amazing community together, keep it alive, keep it thriving, and support all these new exciting projects, because we’ve helped to solve one problem, but we all know that there’s so much more to us than just face shields. And again, that’s incredibly obvious from the talent and ingenuity, not just of our makers, but all our volunteers.
Finally, we are acutely aware that to do this, we will need different skills and experience than the ones that got us this far. We know that we cannot do this alone. We’ll be sharing roles that we feel need to be filled. However, at the same time, we want your feedback and suggestions. So if you have ideas or would like to put yourself forward please do get in touch.
Now we know that we are better together and whether we do this across the street or across the world, the 3D Crowd community can come together again to share our expertise where it is needed most and make a real difference.
You can now see a new version of our homepage (which we will continue to improve over time), a reworked version of our old/current homepage as a memorial to the community efforts to date. We’ll also share more details in Slack/email soon and of course a brand new Go Fund Me page for donations. This will give us the flexibility to run and fund new. You can register your interest for the first 3 projects here.
Thank you again and we look forward to making a new 3D Crowd with an exciting new purpose together. ❤️