While it mobilizes its supply chain, staff and partners to provide personal protective equipment to medical workers and those trying to stop the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, Apple has assembled more than 20 million face masks and is now developing and shipping face shields, according to Chief Executive Tim Cook’s announcement.
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers. pic.twitter.com/3xRqNgMThX— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 5, 2020
The business partners with governments around the world to deliver the stock of face masks to where it needs the most.
Meanwhile, the first delivery of Apple’s face shields went to Kaiser Hospital in the Santa Clara Valley earlier this week, according to Cook.
As Cook said, the masks are packaged flat and ship 100 to the truck. They can be assembled in less than two minutes and can be completely customized. Cook said the company will ship 1 million by the end of the week and plan to ship an additional 1 million face shields monthly, with the goal of expanding distribution outside the U.S.
“This is a work of love and appreciation for Apple and we will share more of our efforts over time,” Cook said.
Apple is joining forces to ensure that many 3D printing startups and creator projects have already invested time working on this.
In Canada, INKSmith, a start-up that made design and development resources available to children, has moved to make face shields and recruits up to 100 new workers to meet demand.
“In the short term, I think we’re going to scale up to meet the needs of the province soon. After that, we’re going to satisfy the demands of Canada, “said Jeremy Hedges, CEO of INKSmith, to the Canadian news outlet Global News.
3D-printing companies like Markforged and Formlabs based in Massachusetts and Voodoo Manufacturing in Brooklyn are all producing personal protective equipment like face shields in the US.