8 April 2020

College tutor uses 3D printer to produce protective visors for NHS staff

College tutor uses 3D printer to produce protective visors for NHS staff

An Engineering tutor from East Sussex College has been using his 3D printer at home to produce hundreds of protective face shields for local NHS staff.

Julian Kupper, who teaches at the Ore Valley campus in Hastings, has been producing the protective visors for the past two weeks, alongside teaching and supporting his students online. Earlier this week, Monday 6th April, the first batch of 150 visors were delivered to Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Julian said, “About four weeks ago it became evident to me that there would be an increasing and dire need for PPE and specialist medical equipment. I spent two days looking at what others were doing in different countries to tackle this issue and found a design for masks that I could produce using my 3D printer.

Julian found a suitable design that met EU specification and began printing at his home at the end of March.

“I arranged for two of the college-owned printers to be delivered to my house and have spent the last week producing the visors and communicating with the local NHS trust and the Exec Team at the college and delivered the first batch of 150 visors to Eastbourne Hospital last Monday.”

Julian is determined to continue with the production of the masks until the demand begins to drop but is appealing for others to support in any way they can.

“There are a couple of ways in which people can help during this crisis. Anyone with a 3D printer can produce the visors. If you don’t have a printer then helping to supply materials such as 1.75 mm diameter PLA or TPU/E 3D printer filament rolls (or part rolls) and clear laminating pouches or 180+ micron clear acetate A4 size sheets will help enormously.

"While production of face visors continues from home I'm currently prototyping a design for a hand-cranked respiratory aid for use in areas of the world with little or no access to electricity.

“A huge thanks to everyone that has become involved so far and for the very real daily risks being taken by colleagues and the wider community in delivering both these items of PPE and others that will use them working in high-risk areas."

If you are working in healthcare or another essential service and feel these items would benefit your organisation or you would like to support Julian, then please get in touch directly via email julian.kupper@escg.ac.uk.

Julian added, "If the last few weeks are anything to go by them I am made more confident that we can take courage from each other's strengths, we can find solutions to pressing issues that arise out of dealing with a crisis, and keeping communication channels open across all professions and disciplines is key."