Monday, April 20, 2020

News: AMRC 3D print protective face shields for NHS workers


Thousands of protective face visors to help keep frontline NHS workers safe in the fight against Covid-19 are being made by a team at the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Engineers from the AMRC's Design and Prototyping Group (DPG) have responded to the national call to produce more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers by using technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting to make up to 1,000 face visors per week.

The shop floor at the centre, on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, has been transformed into an assembly production line and the team worked tirelessly over the Easter weekend to deliver the first batch of 934 protective face shields to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital on Easter Monday. An additional 1,000 visors were on there way to the Northern General Hospital the following week.

Joe Palmer, the Senior Design and Development Engineer who is leading the AMRC's response, said the team had coordinated its efforts with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to ensure visors are being delivered to the local hospitals with the greatest need.

He said: "We know these visors are needed now and not in a few weeks' time, so we’re really pleased that we were able to get almost 1,000 out of the door by Monday and into the hands of the frontline NHS workers who so desperately need them in order to stay protected as they battle this deadly virus to save lives.


"When the visors were delivered to the medical stores department at the Hallamshire Hospital, everyone there was really appreciative and that was a real boost for our team.

"The AMRC is so grateful to those who have stepped up to help. It's not just been technical staff from the design team - we’ve had everyone from receptionists, composites engineers and senior project managers volunteer to help with the assembly.

"The manufacture of these visors has required an enormous amount of effort from a great many people and I want to thank everyone involved. People have been working in shifts for the past 12 days, working over the Easter weekend and on Easter Monday to make sure we could get this crucial kit to healthcare workers. It certainly would not have been possible without such a great team."

Craig Roberts, Head of the Design and Prototyping Group, added: "My hat goes off to everyone involved. The team has done a fantastic job and it's very humbling to see how quickly, safely, and effectively the AMRC can rise to a challenge."

The request for help to make face visors came less than a fortnight ago as demand for vital PPE kit for healthcare workers continued to grow nationwide.

Joe, who also teaches the next generation of engineers at the AMRC Training Centre, also on the AMP, quickly pulled together a team to see how the AMRC could help meet the national need by using advanced manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing, also known as additive manufacture (AM).

But before they could fire up the printers and begin the rapid manufacture and assembly of face shields, they first had to choose a suitable design, carry out test prints, source material and transform the workshop into an assembly line - all while maintaining the necessary social distancing and personal hygiene measures for coronavirus, as well as the usual fire marshal and first aid cover.

Another problem was getting hold of the clear film material for the actual visor, called PETG.

Last week Rothbiz reported on the AMRC's key role in the national response to Covid-19, helping Ventilator Challenge UK to produce an additional 50,000 ventilators for the NHS.

Images: AMRC


Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP