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 DesignWe 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 LinksWe cannot possibly answer every single question in a short blog, so here is a list of useful resources that might help:
- Find out more information about Safety & Hygiene, Visor Design, and FAQs
- Find out more information about Visor Design, Files and Questions Asked
- Video on putting the visor together
- Video on how to build, dismantle and clean a flat-pack face shield
- Kitronik's Twitter Page
- Smoke and Mirrors Twitter Page
- Nottingham Hackspace Twitter Page
How you Can Help too!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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