Here is one for all the politicians who think you can snap your fingers or wrinkle your nose and start producing overnight. This is a fascinating, first-person story about a software developer (Radek Pietruszewski) who became infatuated with 3D printing, learned CAD and CNC, joined a Hacker Space, and then saw how to meet a need during this crisis.

The Podcast is a weekly conversation between Radek and his boss Michael Sliwinski who is developer, founder, and CEO of Nozbe (affiliate link–the personal productivity app I use). They are both Polish. Radek recently moved to Warsaw to be closer to the hacker space. Michael now lives in Spain. You can also find them at @MSliwinski and @radexp. I’ve listened to them since episode 1. This is episode 206.

Oh, they speak English better than some Americans I know, a fact that also fascinates me.

206: Radek’s Face Shield Factory

Radek has started a job in manufacturing… pro bono manufacturing of face shields for hospitals in Poland.

No, really. Over the last few weeks, Radek has been applying what he’d learned about CAD, laser cutting, and lean manufacturing at the Warsaw Hackerspace to set up a face shield production line.

In three weeks, they produced over 30 000 face shields.

They had just discussed a book on Lean. The story reveals challenges and problem solving of starting a manufacturing process to make face masks for hospital people who were in desperate need. Those of us who have worked in manufacturing recognize the problems and should respect how this team of beginners creatively solved all the problems along the way.

One interesting nugget was that they were quickly told not to go to hospital administrators. They would only be a bottleneck. So, the group actually found lower level workers and delivered boxes of masks to their houses for them to take to work and distribute.

Makes me wonder about how I’ve killed time during the pandemic.

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