3D Printed Personal Protective Equipment (3D3PE)

(Visor Face Shield frames during the printing process)

The coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented demand on the manufacturing of suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

The NHS has managed to provide some PPE to equip many front-line workers in wards across the country. However, it and other vital services continue to struggle to source enough of this critical equipment.

The maker community have managed to step-up to the 'build-plate' and create suitable replacements to help meet some of the demand that traditional manufacturing companies are unable to fulfil.

As a member of this community, I too have been playing my part, creating 3D printed visor-frames for key workers. These visors come with an acetate face-shield (VFS) and mask ear-relievers (MER), making it that bit more comfortable for staff who are wearing them around the clock as they work to save lives.

(Mask Ear-Relievers - Provide adjustable support for face masks, to take the elastic off of the wearer's ears.)

I want to continue to produce this vital equipment for those who need it, however, the surge in demand has seen a steep rise in the cost of raw materials, making it difficult for me to sustain production. My costs have more than doubled, while some manufacturers are now selling completed VFS units for more than 50 times the manufacturing costs.

(Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Visor Face Shields)

And that’s why I’m asking for your help. By donating to my page you can support the fight against this virus and ensure I can continue to produce PPE that can be delivered and used safely on the front-line.

I have been in contact with several care homes and GP surgeries, and have had many people interested in me supplying them equipment of various order sizes.

I currently have an order list in place, however, if you are looking for your donation to go towards equipment for a specific GP surgery or care home, or you know of any other facility that you know would benefit from this equipment, please contact me with all of the relevant details.

I will be prioritising the production of equipment to be delivered to GPs and care homes in the first instance, but I will work hard to meet other individual demands as and when I can.

Please donate what you can and help play a small but vital part in the fight against Covid-19. You can also do your bit by sharing this and helping get the word out.

Thank you and stay safe.

Andy & Kate

* The Visor Face Shields can improve protection from viruses that spread through the air, but the shield alone is not a replacement for a surgical mask or respirator. The Visor should still be combined with additional PPE, as required by Health & Safety Regulation, as the virus can also spread through surface contact, so please ensure to wear the relevant equipment and avoid touching your face. The Visor can also help to extend the use of other protective equipment by offering additional protection from external sources of contamination.

** Please exercise caution when wearing the VFS and other PPE for extended periods of time.

*** The Visor Face Shields are currently being labelled as 'single-use' in hospitals whilst sterilisation testing is underway. In other areas, such as GP surgeries and Care Homes, disinfecting the VFS with appropriate sterilisation techniques ( repeatedly washing with soap and water / repeatedly cleaning with 96% Isopropanol ) can be effective against bacteria and viruses, but it is then recommended to securely isolate the shields for 3+ days before re-using.

**** Please exercise caution when attempting to disinfect the visors. Testing is not yet complete on how to properly sterilise them, so I urge you to adhere to the NHS' recommendations for PPE equipment.
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Andy McKechnie 
East Kilbride, Scotland, United Kingdom