Colleges set 3D printers to work for NHS

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Face shield parts being produced on a 3D printer

A COLLEGE group is using 3D printers from its engineering departments to manufacture parts for protective face shields for NHS workers.

Staff at the Warwickshire College Group are creating the parts for the face guards after responding to an appeal for help. The 3D printers have been adapted to produce the parts to a design specification the colleges were given, and now production is going ahead daily.

Mark Bonham, assistant principal at WCG, said: “When our engineering staff received the callout for help with 3D printing face shields for the NHS, we had absolutely no hesitation in doing what we could to help.

“When face-to-face learning across all of our colleges was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, one of the lecturers took the portable 3D printers home to be able to support the students remotely with online lessons and ongoing project work. The machines can be adapted to make most things and so as soon as we received the designs, we were able to start producing main parts in order for them to then be sent for assembly and distribution to the NHS.

“We are printing on a daily basis and will continue doing so for as long as the need is there. The face shields are a crucial part of the personal protection equipment for the incredible staff working within the health service and we are proud to be supporting them.”