As the Coronavirus pandemic takes hold over the globe, countries are seeing their healthcare systems overloaded and fatigued and in desperate need of personal protective equipment (PPE).
3D printing companies have been able to help by producing face shields for healthcare workers. The face shields are attached to the wearer’s head and have a transparent visor that covers most of the user’s face to provide a degree of protection. The protective equipment is disposable and as such supplies are under pressure during the pandemic.
Pictured below is one of the two 3D printer farms that have been set up by iMakr in the UK to provide face shields for NHS workers. iMakr is one of a number of 3D printing companies to have responded in a similar way across the globe, highlighting how 3D printing is ideally suited to support situations that require fast and bespoke manufacturing.
“Following discussions with the NHS, we were quickly able to set up the printer farms in two locations with 400 printers and using Verbatim’s PLA filament as our preferred material due to its tough and reliable properties,” said Wei Liu, COO at iMakr. “In addition to producing the face shields, we are working on other 3D printed objects that are needed to support the effort including parts for ventilators.”
The two iMakr printer farms are able to produce up to 2000 visors a day, and with the help of volunteers to pack and ship out to the hospitals, iMaker has been able to quickly respond to the emergency to get the PPE items out to where they are needed most.
“We are proud to be supporting our long-term 3D print partner iMakr in this important project at this difficult time,” said Tim Stevenson, Regional Sales Manager, Verbatim. “There has been a surge in demand for additive manufacturing services across Europe with many makers rallying to support the health services and iMakr was one of the first in the UK to respond and prove their wealth of expertise by setting up and running these two print farms quickly and efficiently for the NHS.”
See video: https://youtu.be/PX5cQnqm_E0