Due to the current COVID-19 situation, two Sonepar Brazil’s associates were on vacations and decided to combine their free time and their hobby, by producing face shields/masks on their 3D printers to donate to health professionals.


Fabrício Apolinário, a Siemens technical consultant for Automation and Drives at the OpCo Nortel joined a solidarity group in the city of Belo Horizonte that set up a support network, connecting 3D printer hobbyists, encouraging them to manufacture the protective masks and providing the raw material. He has already donated more than 100 masks and the group has a demand of approximately 18,000 pieces. “There are more than 70 printers committed to this initiative in the city and we are also responsible for the logistics, delivering the produced items to health professionals of the region, prioritizing the areas that need it the most, such as the ICUs.”, he said.

Apolinário explained that each mask takes approximately 3 hours to be produced on his printer, so he can produce a maximum of 5 units per day. “It is amazing to part of such initiative. I cannot save the whole world, but I am contributing to it the best way I can”, he celebrated.

Thiago Simão, an Automation and Drives specialist at the OpCo Dimensional, started to print the same masks about a month ago, after some of his friends that work on healthcare segment commented how difficult was to find PPE’s available in the market to assist patients with COVID-19. As a hobby, he bought a 3D printer and the raw material necessary to produce the items and has already donated more than 30 safety face protections to Basic Health Units and emergency services in Mogi Mirim and Mogi Guaçu, both cities close to Sao Paulo. “I am very happy to contribute to the health professionals using the technology. I saw the importance of masks for those who are dealing with patients on a daily basis and it is a pleasure to be able to collaborate somehow too”, he commented.

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