Maker Minute-Men and Women
In 2020, the maker community rallied in distributed and decentralized networks to respond to supply chain failures. Thousands of designs were created and tested for hundreds of supplies. Free, global design and information repositories were created by private companies, schools, non-profits and governments. The NIH 3D print exchange reported a 6000% increase in unique visitors in the first 24 hours of including makers designs for open source COVID medical supplies.
“…it meant the world and literally, in some cases, probably our lives to have this equipment and protective equipment produced and distributed by this army of volunteers. And…I don’t know that we can ever say thank you enough.“
David Rainosek, MD, Associate Medical Director of St. Vincent Rehabilitation Hospital, Arkansas, USA
Over 48 million items valued at approximately $271 million were manufactured and delivered through decentralized and distributed projects by over 42,000 citizen responders through the local response networks in 86 countries. 93% of these people were volunteers.
- 50% used pre-vetted designs.
- 71% depended on community networks – platforms, personal networks, and personal contacts willing to use homemade supplies from known sources
- 40% never joined a larger group, but still created supplies on their own and delivered PPE, typically cloth masks, face shields and ear savers, directly in their local communities
- 24% reported establishing a new relationship at some level of government
- Less than 3% received government funds
- 13% stopped production due to lack of funds
- Produced Nearly 25 million face shields, globally.
- Over 2 million were created and distributed by Maker Asylum,
- 1 million in the first 39 days.