PPE Production Update: April 21, 2020

Thank you everyone for your continued support of TXRX Labs. We have been receiving emails from volunteers and the community asking for updates on our PPE Production. Our Donation Coordinator, Bernard has prepared the following updates about current production, our plans for the future, plus links to volunteer and spreadsheets on our delivered products.


My name is Bernard Li, the Donations Coordinator at TX/RX Labs. Any questions you have about 3D Printing donations, pickups/dropoffs, and any technical support questions, go through me. Starting today, we at TX/RX are going to do our best to keep everyone, especially our volunteers, in the loop and be more transparent about what we are doing and how. It has been one month since we've asked for the Houston Community to help TX/RX 3D print face shields for Memorial Hermann Hospital. Since then, the entire TX/RX Staff has been making and designing new things for hospitals, and partnered with 30 different hospitals, police forces, and volunteer organizations to provide them with Face Shields, Face Masks, Intubation Boxes, and currently designing PAPR models.


  We're making a new face shield model, face_shield_upper_rev3, for people to print instead of rev2. That will be available before Friday. To receive the link, please signup as a volunteer in the link provided below. TX/RX has shipped 20,000+ units, and are still going to make rev2 designs through an injection molding process.

The Biggest Change There's been a lot of changes behind the scenes at TX/RX Labs. The biggest one that TX/RX has found a way to mass manufacture the face shield design using Injection molding machines. Over 4 months, we cataloged about 8,500 volunteer made face_shield_uppers_rev_2 for our production numbers. The injection molding companies can make those numbers in 2 days. This is a huge win for us, and for everyone, as now we'll be able to provide face shields to not just hospitals, but to Police, volunteer organizations like the Food Bank, and even small businesses can come and request face shields without us worrying about a shortage.  On top of that, M.D. Anderson has asked us today, at 2pm on Monday, to make a revision 3 of our Face Shields that complies with their standards. The new design is something we will be asking volunteers to print, available ASAP. M.D. Anderson has announced they are looking for 5,000 of those shields. The demand for revision 3 will be much smaller than the demand for revision 2, but with Injection molding being both faster and safer we can say that the revision2 will no longer be made through 3d printing. Old Revision 2 designs will still be accepted until next Monday, 4/27/2020, and then afterwards we will ask everyone to print the Revision 3 instead. What We have Accomplished! Since the beginning of our production on March 22nd, 2020, we've made substantial progress. TX/RX has shipped more than 20,000 face shields, more than 7,500 face masks, 20+ intubation boxes, and begun designing PAPR units and other items for people in need. We've gone to more than 30 hospitals across the United States - 300+ shipped to New York, 200+ to California, and many more locations. We also also have partnered with the Houston Community College, Harris County Public Library, Fab Lab, Re3D, Creatorspace, the Humble Makers, Baker Hughes, and more! We have 93+ volunteers, and we hope to continue expanding our partnerships and volunteer programs. 

A google doc with all of our statistics and documentation is available here. This will be updated frequently. If you have any questions about our numbers... look no further. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_MMkHakBd-MyKi4WCOzAwIxpvEBVXXt_nt4s2ym-Gig/edit?usp=sharing Update for Volunteers and Signing up to be a Volunteer Starting this Friday, everyone in the old volunteer system will be moved to a better managed volunteer system that we have been running in conjunction with the original one.  If you already filled out the google form, then you can ignore this section as you are already registered on the new system. Registering to be a volunteer gets you on our mailing list for bi-weekly updates, gets you on our short list of immediate requests for volunteers, and helps with figuring out what your capabilities are. 

Fill out this form if you have not already done so. - https://forms.gle/kU559a2kn1zT7jtm7

If you want a more detailed explanation of how our volunteer process works, the explanation for volunteers is here. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l1jqZcADxmcxhIxbQzflynSZCi5dzRzmGP60bKOTvJ4/edit# The Challenge with Volunteers At TX/RX, we are seeing a slow decline in requests for 3D printed items. With the major factories starting to spin up their production, there is even a slow decline in requests for volunteers. Even then, 3D printers are not factories. 3D printers are designed to rapidly prototype components - I.E. to make a wide variety of items, instead of making one thing over and over again. 3D Printers aren't efficient in making large numbers of things over a rapid number of time continuously, and our 3D printers at TX/RX (as well as those of some of our volunteers) are starting to fall apart. We at TX/RX saw this happening for a while, and heard most of the complaints coming in from volunteers, and we've realized a couple of things. Volunteers are not supposed to be the ones making items for hospitals this late into the outbreak. Volunteers aren't designed to fight a long war. Estimates we at TX/RX see for how long we need to keep making shields go from 3 months at minimum.. to an entire year at maximum. 

We want to warn you, that over the next couple of weeks and months, the amount of resources that can be given to volunteers will decrease. We're not getting that many requests for parts that can be 3D printed. We will do our best to make sure that things. The amount of Filament we can return will be difficult. We're running low on our own end, and big companies are using the National Emergency's Act to purchase all of the supplies we could possibly use.  Q&A  We get a lot of similar questions when being asked for this, so we thought we’d answer them in a general email to all of our teams. If you have a question that is not on this list, you can reply directly to the email or you can contact our volunteer support staff at verifyppeforheroes@txrxlabs.org

Can you help me with a printer issue? Sure! Send an email to ppehelp@txrxlabs.org with the problems you have with your printer and we will attempt to help you debug!

Does my print meet the quality standards/Does my print look bad? If you want us to check, print one shield_rev_2_upper for testing and send an email to verifyppeforheroes@txrxlabs.org with your name and photos of the print. We’ll debug any general issues. If we have a problem, we will reverse search the photos you send and help you debug your prints.

I don’t live near a dropoff box? If you do not live within 20-30 minutes of a dropoff location, please email ppepickup@txrxlabs.org with your address for us to find a nearby location or set up a location near you. Last resort, we might be able to send a driver to your location.

I have a friend working for a hospital/Organization looking for PPE, how do they get some? We have a full product list for what we can give. Most of the cost is in shipping, cleaning, packaging and materials, as we contract out a company now to do cleaning, deburring and packaging. Feel free to send them our request form. https://docs.google.com/document/d/18tezYUPgCrr9y47g6y0FvlrYZ_6tiJjx-d6dBQgHtYA  We are going to send emails like this every week to keep you up to date with what is happening behind the scenes at TX/RX. We are all in this fight together to keep working against COVID-19, and as long as we have the opportunity to save lives, we will help save lives.

Stay Safe. 


All Documents:


Volunteer Signup https://forms.gle/kU559a2kn1zT7jtm7 Detailed Volunteer Instructions https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l1jqZcADxmcxhIxbQzflynSZCi5dzRzmGP60bKOTvJ4/edit#

Map of all Dropoff Points https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sr0ZULh9-nbw2UOguLwnfI2uYUx2EwsV Statistics (Updated Weekly) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_MMkHakBd-MyKi4WCOzAwIxpvEBVXXt_nt4s2ym-Gig/edit?usp=sharing

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