20 May 2020

A team of technicians at the University of East London is using the institution's 3D printer to produce full face shields for the NHS.

The Digital Fabrication Labs team has so far produced more than 450 face shields.

It has been a challenging but rewarding project and an excellent test for our facilities to design and create a prototype, moving into full production.

"In a perfect world, our efforts would have been in vain, with there being enough PPE for healthcare workers. It will be interesting to see if governments take advantage of this decentralised method of production over traditional methods to combat emergencies in the future,"

Paul Nichols, UEL technician, said.

The initiative is run by the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering and is led by Mr Nichols and his colleague Barbara Zandavali.

The team is using an open-source design. The process includes 3D printing the section of the device that fits the shield to one’s head. The front covering is fashioned with laser cutters. The shields are typically used as an added protection by NHS workers.

Professor Verity Brown, pro-vice chancellor (impact and innovation) said, "Guided by our Vision 2028 strategy, the University is playing a significant and practical role in the fight against Covid-19. Our incredible NHS has shown us such dedication and compassion, it is only right that we play our part and this this technology will have a huge impact on those who need it most."

Mr Nichols said, "We have received support from across the University and we are incredibly thankful for their kind words and support to ensure our safety was the number one priority."

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