Sam Suchin (me) with Potomac Photonics who are producing the special laser cut plastic sheets for the shield

Sam Suchin: Hope3D Founder and Owner – Hope3D – Combating COVID-19 with 3D Printing

Hope3D is an online platform that asks the community of makers equipped with 3D printers to crowdsource parts for projects that solve medical, environmental, and socioeconomic issues worldwide. Thanks to The Pollination Project’s initial grant in 2018, Hope3D has done projects ranging from a submerging a massive artificial coral reef made from 400 unique 3D printed parts to producing tactile 3D printed devices for the visually impaired to providing 3D printed hair combs for homeless communities.

Hope3D was inspired by my desire to perform meaningful service and my love for STEM/problem-solving. I came to the hypothesis that I could help people by harnessing the technology of home consumer 3D printing. By fabricating devices or contraptions that assist those with demonstrated need not being met, I could, potentially, improve a person’s quality of life. Also, I witnessed how incredible the 3D printing community was and there desire to use their machines to help others. Consequently, I coupled these two ideas together to create the crowdsourcing platform Hope3D. I am proud to have grown a passionate community and work with incredible volunteers from all over the world.

The Pollination Project has enabled Hope3D to bring its projects from the digital world in design software to the hands of those in need. Other than providing the necessary non-3D printed hardware for some of the projects, Hope3D has also enabled me to re-design the website with the same technology that runs Reddit and Instagram. This has allowed the process of producing the 3D printed parts to become substantially easier for both me and the volunteers. The Pollination Project has also enabled Hope3D to reach out and impact areas throughout the world, such as in Belize, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, and India.

In response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Hope3D aims to combat the virus by initiating various projects. The first project has been dubbed Project Shield, which aims to crowdsource a 3D printed face shield for healthcare workers. In conjunction with a lower-grade surgical mask, the device provides a CDC-recommended level of protection for people working with suspected COVID-19 carriers. Hope3D also plans to implement Project Breath, which will crowdsource a special 3D printed valve, that, when attached to a full face scuba diving mask, will serve as an emergency ventilator mask. In addition to both of these projects, Hope3D plans to host new projects that would not be possible without the seed grant. Thanks to the Pollination Project, Hope3D can produce devices/contraptions that consist of electronics and software to help those in need even more. Hope3D can not thank The Pollination Project enough for their generous contribution and guidance!