Kitronik are Making PPE Visors to Help with the COVID-19 Pandemic

To support Nottingham's local NHS Trust in its efforts to fight the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Kitronik and other organisations have teamed up to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE Visors) to help keep the frontline staff safe whilst treating patients.

Working closely with Dominic Morrow (@tweetsnmirrors on Twitter) and Nottingham Hackspace (@HSNOTTS), we had the necessary skills and equipment to design and make these much-needed supplies. Kitronik will be making and donating 1,000 visors, but we know that makers and schools have been, and want to do their bit too! We'll see some of the work of others a bit later on...  

What Prompted us to Design these PPE Visors?

Smoke and Mirrors owner, Dominic Morrow, who also works with Kitronik and is the Co-Founder and one of the Trustees of Nottingham Hackspace, responded to the request from Dr Hussain Ghandi of the Wellspring Surgery in St Annes, Nottingham. Dr Ghandi called for tech firms and makers with laser cutting facilities and 3D printers to use their skills and switch their production lines or use hobby skills to create the much-needed face shields. Dominic comments: "We were all aware of the need for PPE equipment in hospitals and when I saw the request from Dr Hussain, I was confident that my colleagues and I would be able to manufacture the face shields."  

The PPE Visor Design

A GIF to show the Polypropylene Sheets being laser cut We wanted to design something that was time effective and low cost. Kitronik's Design Engineer, Sean Drummond, came up with this fantastic PPE visor design that ticks both of those boxes. We took inspiration from the Fast Face Shield by Noah Li-Leger which we found on PrusaPrinters and adapted certain aspects. Our design uses Polypropylene for the headband, which is a low-cost material and can be easily laser-cut, plus it is quicker than using a 3D printer. To create the PPE visors, here is a list of items you will need:
  • A Laser Cutter with bed greater than A3 300mm x 400mm
  • Polypropylene sheet (0.5mm of any colour)
  • A4 clear Acetate/PVC binder cover
  • Hole punch with slider for A6 holes (current version needs a 4 hole punch for A4)
  • Clean hands and a way to bag your shields

The Shield Consists of 2 Parts:

  • A Polypropylene (PP) adjustable headband, which is laser cut from 0.5mm Polypropylene sheets. Kitronik has a range of colours available. Please note, there has been a high demand for Polypropylene so stock may be limited.
  • An A4 or Acetate Clear Binder Sheet at least 100 microns thick. Kitronik do not stock these materials, but you may find them on Amazon or similar.
  • PLEASE NOTE: The A4 or Acetate Clear Binder Sheet DOES NOT need to be laser cut.

Want to download the file and help us create PPE visors? This Dropbox link contains a zipped version of all files - a DXF, Ai and SVG file versions. Click here. Similarly, you can find files on GitHub by clicking here.

Version for smaller laser cutters. Kitronik Customer Lawrence North tweaked our design to work with smaller lasers. This will work on a laser with a bed of 260mm x 385mm. Thank you, Lawrence! Additional Download: This is a slightly newer more compact design. This makes it ideal for the slightly more narrow sheets, such as the white polypropylene sheets. To download the files, click here.  

Useful Information and Links

Stamford School making PPE visors We cannot possibly answer every single question in a short blog, so here is a list of useful resources that might help:  

How you Can Help too!

King Henry VIII School making PPE Visors We have been overwhelmed with all of the support we have received online, particularly on Twitter. We've had lots of calls coming in at Kitronik HQ wanting to know more information and finding out how they can help out. It's been unbelievable, so for that, we must say a massive 'Thank You!' It's fantastic to see everyone coming together to support our local NHS workers. Here are just a few of those who have been helping out:

King Henry VIII School in Coventry - Thank You!

Mr Sweetman and other staff at King Henry VIII School have been working incredibly hard to produce hundreds of PPE visors. In fact, using their laser cutters, they have been able to produce an incredible "one shield a minute" compared with 3D printers which are slower. Check out their Twitter page (@KHVIIIDT) or read this fantastic BBC News article here.

Stamford Endowed School in Stamford - Thank You!

Also, part of the BBC News article, Mr Newton and colleagues have been doing an amazing job in manufacturing PPE visors and donating them to Peterborough City Hospital and other hospitals and surgeries too! So far they've made hundreds of masks, and they continue to do so daily. See what they are up to over on their Twitter page (@SES_DT).

Godolphin in Salisbury - Thank You!

Mr Hallen and the D&T department has been using their laser cutters to make PPE visors to help our local NHS front-line staff, and they've been doing a fantastic job! You can check out their Twitter page (@GodolphinDT) to see what they've been up to!    

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75 comments

Bianca

Bianca

I can’t open this link to the 1mm version. Is there another way of opening it? Also is there any way of making them fully sterilisable and re-usableusing 1mm for the whole shield?

Gunawan Dewa Saputra

Gunawan Dewa Saputra

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is specialized clothing or equipment, worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials or any potential infectious disease exposure. PPE is designed according to the type of work, and one of the examples is PPE for medical personnel aims to reduce the risk of contracting an infectious disease. http://www.unair.ac.id/site/article/read/2863/-news-fk-unair-students-creating-200-face-shield-equipment-in-2-days.html

Simon Judge

Simon Judge

Just to update, we are successfully using 1mm Polyprop, and are now cutting these to meet the needs of our hospital (and then hopefully more widely). Using 1mm PP we are also able to make the headband cleanable (by sterile services dept), with the acetate sheet replaced as a consumable. The tweaked design and some additional instructions for manufacture and use are here: https://github.com/simonjudge/Face_Visor_PPE/tree/1mmPP Many thanks for the design and hard work all.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Amy, it is difficult to advise as each laser is different. I would practice cutting out something small on an offcut, try increasing the speed and/or lowering the power until it works the way you want it to. Sorry I couldn't come up with a definite answer for you.

Alan Cowley

Alan Cowley

Please share the Stephen Perse Foundations efforts, which used your designs. https://twitter.com/SPFSchools/status/1251201320788336643?s=19 Thanks, Alan

Amy

Amy

Hi, My White 0.5 Polypropylene has just arrived. I have the template ready for the visors, can anyone advise the best power/speed setting for cutting on a 60w laser? I keep getting the brown burnt edge. Thanks Amy

Marlon Malcolm

Marlon Malcolm

Hi there, I am presently trying to get some acetate/pvc binder material. The one you showed on amazon is around 200 microns. Would 180 microns be suitable as we cannot find any 200 microns sheets in stock at the moment?

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Ash, Others have had success by changing the units to inches when importing into 2D Design. Let me know if this doesn't work for you. I'm not in the office for the duration so would have to get the dimensions from someone who is, which might not be immediate as I believe we are now back on top of orders, but only just.

Ash

Ash

Hi there, please could you tell me the overall finished length & width of the three pieces of pp used for the headband. I'm struggling to download the files that you have kindly provided, onto my school system PC, it's probably an issue our end more than anything else… So instead, I've taken a screen shot of the design preview via Dropbox, opened it into 2D Design and traced around the design. But I'm doubt that the sizing is accurate after using a screenshot. Please could you provide the finished measurements. Many thanks, Ash

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Justine, I've had a look on google and have seen that mylar has been used by others. I am unfamiliar with this material and don't know if it is safe or not but your supplier should be able to help with that. You can convert dxf files to PDF and to scale a number of ways but it wouldn't be easy to make this design by hand.

Russell McWilliams

Russell McWilliams

We purchased 1000 sheets of Acetate and polypropylene. We are cutting 130 per day on the laser and getting them out to local care homes. The clear sheets came from Print finishing superstore. 1000 for £179 We set up a just giving page and raised £500 for materials.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Neil, fingers crossed that you get approval and you're welcome. We're glad we've been able to do something to help those in frontline positions, directly and indirectly.

Neil Maliphant

Neil Maliphant

Hi, just to add to the comment, in Wales the PPE isn’t getting to places fast enough if at all, so this design is ideal for quick and efficient manufacturing rather than 3D printing. I have tweaked the design slightly to save material, use of elastic on the back and poppers to connect the acetate. Before continuing, I have been in touch with NHS Wales clinical engineering and they will assess two versions on Monday 20th (normal, and with the top part). I will then respond accordingly. Thanks Kitronik for these designs!

Justine McMah

Justine McMah

Hi. I make stencils but have a vinyl cutter not laser. Would it still work? Providing I can find stock here in Australia, I would love to assist our frontline workers making these if I can. I also have a 2 massive roles of 7mil mylar. Can i use that instead of polypropylene? Thanks Justine

Joanne Hardy

Joanne Hardy

I read on the Stamford school site that the headband did not fit his head. They state that they needed a further iteration to allow for those with larger heads.

Akshay

Akshay

HI , Great stuff you made. Can i get all dxf files on my email? avinengitech@gmail.com

Paul Wilby

Paul Wilby

We’ve been using HIPS to make the headbands and cut them with a bandsaw into 35mm width. We’re using the clear plastic sheeting that the school uses to cover noticeboards. I think it is a polycarbonate. The parts are joined together using paper fasteners as we struggled to get eyelets. A rubber band provides tension. We based our design on one from Birchwood High school.

Simon

Simon

Thanks – I sourced some 1mm and tested this – it works well in terms of comfort/fit – but the circumfrence-adjustment tabs need some tweaking to make them fit better… we will try and do this over the next day and post it back (unless someone has done already?). Great stuff, many thanks. S

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Adrian, that's fantastic! I'm about to add a new design file download to the blog post. The design is slightly more compact than the original making it ideal for the smaller white sheets. Will take a couple of mins to organise. Thanks for all your efforts, I think we've collectively made a big difference.

Adrian Barton

Adrian Barton

Thanks Mark, just ordered a load more sheets! Made 50 visors this morning, already on the way to Dorchester hospital! Hopefully when we get more acetate we will be able to make about 200 next week.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Adrian, We have several thousand sheets in stock at the moment. The line with the most stock is; https://www.kitronik.co.uk/43142-white-polypropolene-sheet-05mm-x-1020mm-x-720mm.html

Adrian Barton

Adrian Barton

Hi Mark, How much pp do you have in stock if I ordered today?

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Chris, we're reasonably sure that if you choose Import rather than Open it should open for you in 2D Design. You may have to experiment with a couple of import settings.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Simon, we haven't any specific reports yet but I am sure that there will be people out that are trying.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Ben, I would make one and test it. Maybe wear it for a day and see how you get on.

Chris Dunne

Chris Dunne

It's possible today (9th) that file designs compatible with “2D design” will appear on-line (try the TECHSOFT website.)

Ben Sanders

Ben Sanders

Hi, we have 1mm polypro…do you think this would be ok to use in terms of tolerances when bending?

Simon

Simon

Great stuff. Has anyone tried this with 1mm sheet (which seems easier to source) – will it/does it work as well?

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Phil, I've no idea, maybe he didn't like the colour :) There's always one…

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Lee, We still have stocks of some colours of 0.5mm, with more ordered. Though with each delivery we are seeing fewer and fewer colours.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Lee, We still have stocks of some colours of 0.5mm, with more ordered. Though with each delivery we are seeing fewer and fewer colours. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer our collection service at the moment.

Lee Bell

Lee Bell

you need to import it not open it, leave the settings to inches when you do that :)

Lee Bell

Lee Bell

Hi, Do you have stock of the 0.5mm polypropylene? are we able to collect if needed? i work at a college ane will be meeting with the head tomorrow to discuss making a large batch of these, materials pending of course thanks Lee

Lee Bell

Lee Bell

Hi, do you have any of the 0.5mm Polypropylene in stock to purchase tomorrow? I run a workshop at my college and will want to start to produce these but will need more as I don't currently have the 0.5 in stock. thanks Lee

Phil.R

Phil.R

Hi, ran few of these off today and intend on making many more tomorrow and taking them to.the local hospitals procurement as we have already took our PPE stock there too. However, my curiosity is getting the better of me. I cant help but wonder why the consultant in the centre of you photo of health care professionals isn't wearing a shield and is giving a thumbs down.

Andy Gardiner

Andy Gardiner

Key worker PPE 3D support have a Facebook page and a file for making the headbands using 3D printer if any good. You might need their visor file too but this its virtually the same

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Robert, I've just downloaded 2D Design and was able to get the .dxf file opened using import as opposed to open. As I am unfamiliar with this program I am unsure how to test the accuracy of the import. I will investigate further when I have the opportunity.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Jeremy, I've just downloaded 2D Design and was able to get the .dxf file opened using import as opposed to open. As I am unfamiliar with this program I am unsure how to test the accuracy of the import. I will investigate further when I have the opportunity.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Leah, I've just downloaded 2D Design and was able to get the .dxf file opened using import as opposed to open. As I am unfamiliar with this program I am unsure how to test the accuracy of the import. I will take a closer look when I have the opportunity.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Simon, I've just downloaded 2D Design and was able to get the .dxf file opened using import as opposed to open. As I am unfamiliar with this program I am unsure how to test the accuracy of the import.

Simon Neame

Simon Neame

Hi Cant seem to open or import the dxf file in 2D Design is there a way to do it that you know of? Thanks

Jeremy Sandford

Jeremy Sandford

any chance of a 2d design v2 version or instructions to convert the dxf please

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Sarah, thanks for getting and touch and for getting involved. I don't know how many visors we've collectively made, but I'm sure that it has made a big difference.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Ian, thank you for getting involved and for your kind words. We've all contributed to helping those who are helping us in a time of crisis.

Ian Walker

Ian Walker

Hi Kitronic Last Sunday I chanced across a news report by the BBC concerning schools making PPE Visors. I arranged with a colleague to meet in school, (Brooksbank School, Elland, West Yorkshire), to see if we had the neccessary acrylic in stock to use with our Laser Cutter. Today, Tuesday, with a second colleague, we made and delivered 60 PPE Visors; 10 each to two local surgeries, plus 40 Visors to the Head of Procurement at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. We will make more tomorrow, with a plan to provide Bradford Royal Infirmary's respiratory ward with another batch. NB. We have been using archived GCSE Portfolio covers for the headbands! These would otherwise have gone in the skip. Your DXF files are brilliant; I am so pleased and proud that you have made these files 'open source', to enable schools across the country to manufacture these Visors. Please contact all secondary School head teachers to 'get on board' with this wonderful initiative. Very kind regards, Ian Walker

Sarah Hampshaw

Sarah Hampshaw

Thank you so much for the design template. I managed to get some pp today and have begun to make some visors at our school.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Damien, We have bought our acetate through 5 star stationary at present but most places are getting pretty wiped out. Staples and other stationery suppliers are other places you could try.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Ciaran, Hopefully today, but stocks will still be below normal levels for a while until demand settles down. Some colours and sizes are already not available.

Damien Digby

Damien Digby

Do you have a link for the clear plastic, we are having issues finding some through amazon right now, stocks are very limited. Thank you.

Ciaran McQuaid

Ciaran McQuaid

Hi Mark, when is your stock back in? we would like a bulk order of the large sheets to N.irleland to help the loacl area with face sheilds

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