What is this about? The purchase of a Vinyl cutter for IG immediately, to start cutting transparent face shields for NYC COVID-19 Relief. It would run at someone's home until IG reopens, then permanently move to IG. This could be up to 10x faster than making them by hand or on a laser (as they are now).
What am I asking for? Donations towards an $1800 goal to purchase a Graphtec ce7000-60 cutter. If we exceed this goal, we can also buy the cutting heads and other basic accessories. Our minimum target is $1250 to make this purchase happen. In that case, we would make up the difference from funds raised for the Ithaca-PPE face shield project yesterday after making sure raw materials needs are met for that effort.
Time is of the essence! The sooner we reach this goal the sooner we can start producing the parts for workers in need.
First - thank you to everyone who donated to yesterday's campaign to supply PETG filament for face shield frames! I just ordered the first 50kg from Snolabs and it will be distributed Monday. This alleviates a major bottleneck and will increase the output of parts from our whole Ithaca-PPE node. The node is led
Second - Face shields have two parts - a frame and a clear plastic "lens" about the size of a standard transparency. When this began, Weill Cornell was only asking for the frames, and they were punching holes in transparencies in NYC and assembling them there. With the need (and supply) going up, this is becoming a problem, and we are looking at ways to provide them with the lens as well and free up people's time in the city where it is needed. There is now a bottleneck in finding enough transparent sheets.
There are dozens of candidate designs - but our group is producing only the Verkstan Design because it is simple and has been validated and specifically requested.
The case for a Vinyl cutter: Laser cutters can be used but have big limitations. Folks at Cornell AAP are currently dialing in a laser formula, but there is limited stock of flat sheets available and there are some issues with scorching, as well as requiring a human to change materials every minute or two.
Jon Sanders, Jason Youngers and I are looking into the feasibility of making these parts on a 24" wide vinyl cutter. It has the potential to be much faster, to use inexpensive and readily available rolls of acetate feedstock, and could run almost unattended. In addition, a vinyl cutter would be a huge asset to our members once IG reopens.
As a regular tool at Ithaca Generator, a vinyl cutter enables a wide range of projects, including not just vinyl art and banners, but stickers, t-shirts, paper crafts, rapid prototyping, packaging design, and a ton more. Like the laser cutter, it is a vector-based platform that can handle a wide range of materials in a wide range of disciplines. It can handle long rolls of paper, plastics, and textile material, and has a much faster cutting speed than the zing through many materials.
The goal for this fundraiser is $1800, representing the purchase price of a Graphtec ce7000-60 cutter.