We can’t think of a better way to start our #MeetTheMakers series than with Harry Jordan. Firstly, a BIG thank you, Harry, for working so hard to support the front line workers and for taking time out to speak to us. You can help Harry and our other makers get the filament they need to make these vital face shields via our Go Fund Me page.
Printing on an ANYCUBIC i3 MEGA
Not many young people are familiar with 3D printers but Harry Jordan, age 17, currently mid-way through his A levels is. He had bought a 3Dprinter two years ago, to work on projects including a hydraulic arm design. So, when he heard on the BBC news that other 3Dprinters were joining forces to help frontline workers, he did some research to find out how he could get involved. Before long Harry had devoted much of his Easter holidays to making face shields.
“I volunteered to use my 3D printer for batch production of parts for PPE face shields, specifically the top headband and bottom reinforcement components. Since starting in early April, I have given enough parts to my local coordinator for 217 complete face shields which will be distributed to the health workers which need them.”
“The organisation I volunteered for is called 3Dcrowd.uk and I’ve developed the open-source file into a design that works for me.”
“It took me some time to produce the first few, but I found a file online that enabled me to print a stack of 10, so I started with five and worked out the right number for my printer. Now that I’ve established a simple production line and worked out the most efficient process for my set up, I am able to produce 20 a day.”
“It takes me about five hours to print five of the top bands and another five hours for 17 bottom reinforcements, using my ANYCUBIC i3 mega printer. I’ll do one print run at the start of the day and overnight for the other. It has also been a great experience to connect with the 3DCrowd community on Slack.”
How do you see the future for 3D printing? What areas would you like to get involved in?
- I see 3D printing in every area in the future. In space exploration, it could be used to save storage and therefore fuel for space-travel, as you could simply transport the materials to the location and then the astronauts could print the tools and supplies which they need. It could also be used in bioengineering to 3D print new limbs, organs or possibly even bio-enhanced parts.
- 3D printing is also good for rapid prototyping as it is a fast and reliable additive process. This element of speed and reliability makes it perfect to be able to 3D print houses in countries that are recovering from disasters. The technology could be enhanced to gain the ability to 3D print an entire developed house, complete with electrical and plumbing.
- 3D printing could be used not only in these applications but also for machine parts and vehicle parts, via metal 3D printing. I also see it becoming normal for many homes in the future to own 3D printers, giving them the ability to manufacture an item that they need or an item which has broken. This can all be achieved with basic CAM skills as you could just download a design off of the internet.
- Personally, I would like to get involved with areas of 3D printing such as the UV curing machines as well as the metal FDM machines as I have not had a chance to work with them yet. I also find both mechanical engineering and bioengineering extremely fascinating so I would like to explore the bio-enhancements possible with 3D printing as well as the mechanical manufacturing and prototyping of any type of product or solution. (I wish to study mechanical engineering at university).
What are your other interests and hobbies, what do you do to wind down? Usually, and how is that different in the lockdown.
- My interests and hobbies include: Martial arts (specifically Taekwondo which I would have taken my black belt grading in April if not for COVID-19), designing (both using CAD and hand designing) and building these designs (such as engineering solutions, industrial and product design), machining (manual and CNC), woodworking, metalworking, engineering, physics problems and swimming. I have a small workshop which I have set up in the shed with various equipment and machinery. I use it in conjunction with my 3D printer quite often for projects.
- Now that I am in lockdown, I have a lot more time and so I am able to design and build things at home, and also make efficiency improvements in the workspace I have. I am unable to train properly for TKD, however, I occasionally practice my patterns and linework at home and revise through my theory as well as practice different techniques both self-defense, set sparring and sparring on my punching bag.
How have you been coping with your mental wellbeing during the new normal?
- During this time, I have been keeping busy, whether it be with hobbies, the family or schoolwork. There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment regarding every area of life but it is important to stay positive, there will be an end to this, it is only a matter of time and if you can make it a month you can make it a year.
Have your relationships with your friends and family changed? Have you got closer or more isolated?
- My relationships regarding friends have been pretty much the same, this is, of course, thanks to social media as we can easily keep in touch and speak most days.
- My relationship with my family has been improved I would say, as we have had more time together and in a constant area and environment. This has given us more opportunities to create bonds together, such as general time together, family meals, walks, quizzes (with members who are isolating in other areas of the country as well), and family games together.
What is your favourite thing about lockdown?
- This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity where the world has stopped, and everyone has the chance to take up something or finish something they started. This is a time which is given to us and we can use it for so many different things. It is an incredible opportunity in so many ways (such as the support for care workers and the NHS) but at the same time, as with many things, it comes at a price.
What is the worst?
- The worst thing about lockdown is most probably the fact that there are so many people who are dying and falling ill and there is nothing that we can do to help them or support them directly. For me individually the worst thing about lockdown would be the fact that I cannot see friends and the family which I do not live with, as well as the lack of freedom of being able to just walk outside and go somewhere.
How do you think society will be different when we return to old life?
- When this is all over, I think that society will be changed forever. It has and will continue to create a ‘tighter-knit’ world, one where we can hopefully see that we are all the same when it comes down to it. I think that the way communications, working and schooling has been operating will invite new and innovative ways to do all those things, reducing things such as carbon footprints, cost and potential hazards. We know that it is 100% possible to work like this and I think that this will almost certainly have an impact on the world’s way of life in the future. I also think that society will have a considerable amount more tension in it, specifically in areas regarding international relations, for example with the US and China. Not that I am an expert in any of these fields.
Have you changed your views on how the world could and should be different
- Not particularly no, however, I think, and I would like to think, that the situation has influenced the ideals of several more powerful individuals than myself.
What is your opinion on how the UK has handled the PPE crisis?
- I think the body of people that are the United Kingdom has handled the PPE shortage very well. While it has been frustrating people have found ways around it, and people have come together to source and manufacture PPE as well.
- Sadly, I cannot say the same for my opinion on how the government has handled the PPE shortage. While I can see their point about the legal and social impacts on the use of emergency manufactured PPE, I think it is morally wrong and the wrong decision to prioritise anything over the protection of human life, especially in the crisis which we are facing. Some schools cannot manufacture PPE for fear of lawsuits and while this is reasonable the government should have done something about this to allow more PPE to be produced. A good source of information on how the government are making this a difficult task is the open letter to the UK government entitled “Do you want our PPE or not?”, it was produced and signed off by a number of businesses capable of producing PPE but that are unable to do so due to difficulties involving the government.
In what way do you feel valued, useful, motivated by the crisis?
- I think that it would be selfish to feel valued by aiding the effort in the crisis, I am simply doing my bit, doing what I can, and I do feel useful as I can manufacture PPE to protect people risking their lives to save and aid others in the crisis. Yes, I feel motivated by the crisis, I feel motivated to do what I can because there is someone out there who needs what I am manufacturing and indirectly, I could potentially save their life.
What one thing would you like to see change after this pandemic subsides?
- I think if nothing else the one thing I would like to see change after this pandemic is how we look after each other and the planet, as we have basically been given almost a second shot at keeping the world alive and we cannot in any way afford to lose that.
You can support Harry and our 8,000 other volunteers in creating face shields for the front line workers by paying it forward and giving our makers the filament they need to make them via our Go Fund Me page.
The thoughts and opinions of Harry and the other #MeetTheMakers are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of 3D Crowd UK or its wider community which is made up of a diverse group of volunteers from all walks of life and all over the UK.
That said, I think we can all agree, we think Harry is a Legend and will have a bright career ahead of him, whatever he plans to do.