Over the growing number of week’s, there is a groundswell of support for the NHS here in the UK to create PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) who as we know is in short supply. Companies have been diversifying to help out with the manufacture of certain equipment. There is also a clamour to help out from small business owners and enthusiasts at home with a 3d printer to multinational companies printing or moulding headbands that form a protective visor. Whilst also producing clear shields, head straps and anything feasible and safe to supply.
Everyone who can help can do so if one shield created help prevents infection either on the acute wards (HDP / ICU) or in the community then this worth the effort. At 3DG the focus has been on the face shield for a local trust and charity.
If you want to help out then it would be worth reading articles from Hardian Health on design considerations and guidance, their blogs now cover the following areas for PPE face shields:
- Storage and Distribution
- Operation – donning, using and cleaning of the face shield
If you don’t have access to facilities to produce the clear plastic visor, then don’t worry there is a UK company accepting just the 3d printed elements, assembling straps and shields before sending on. A worthy note that SolidPrint3D in the UK are accepting the Prusa printed model parts which are available to download. They will sterilise prints before sending on to relevant front-line workers. This is a great initiative by Solidprint3D who are part of the Solidsolutions group which is a provider of 3D CAD software Solidworks, Catia, plus others.
There are other headband designs available online, majority probably doing a satisfactory job, however, if there is a particular model that is gaining recognition and is approved it might be best to use it, companies are making them freely downloadable. One bit of advice if you’re thinking of downloading designs and producing the clear plastic visors, then do a first off sample to check before producing large numbers. Fitting issues ARE common as experienced this week. Allow for scaling and tolerance inconsistencies between equipment, also if you haven’t created the designs it’s better to check.
Throughout April 2020 the office 3d printer was moved home (#stayhomestaysafe) and a mini production line set up, cleaning the bed and hitting the ‘print another copy’ function every few hours. To be fair the Flashforge Creator Pro is holding up miraculously well, thinking at one point it surely can’t keep going? Consistently day after day it kept printing, this thing is a trooper! You can buy them for half the original price at around £500, new models now exist, might be wise to check them out.
Thank you for reading, happy printing, hoping it brings you a sense of satisfaction helping others during these difficult times.
Take care out there!
From all @ 3DG