3D printers band together to help the front line

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A band of our Warrington engineering have joined the growing national army of 3D printers who are working to produce personal protective equipment for front line health care workers.

Using their home machines and aeromodelling hobby skills, they’re producing face visors and have already started to distribute them across Warrington.

A close up image of one of the visors made using the 3D printer

One of the 3D printed visors

Items have been sent to the Birchwood Medical Centre, the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, Wigand Leigh Hospice, Royal Bolton Paediatric Ward, Unsworth Group Practice, Bedford Care home and local district nurses.

A selfie taken in a mirror of a health care worker in full uniform wearing one of the 3D printed visors

The visors are being used by workers in many different front line occupations, like this carer

Engineer Andy Ellison is part of a bigger community of aeromodellers. He said:

We use these machines for our hobby. We are trying to allow modellers near to the demand to produce visors locally – what this means is that if a request comes in via social media, we can direct it to someone near to them.

It’s a small contribution in the grand scheme of things but demand is very, very high and the machines are running round the clock.

They’ve been helped by a donation from the Canon printing office at Hinton House of hundreds of PVC sheets originally destined to be used as document covers. Canon have also ordered the filament used to create the frame for the visors.

Head of Hinton House, Alex Walsh, added:

Andy Ellison, Andy Burrows and Mike Ward are doing a sterling job 3D printing protective face shields. We have a small team making these now but I’m sure there will be other engineers with 3D printers at home who might want to join the effort.

If you own a 3D printer and can help the team increase the amount of equipment they can produce, visit warrington.gov.uk

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