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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76 comments

Leah

Leah

Hi, Is there a .dtd (2D design file) version anywhere please? Thanks

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

olivia lewis

olivia lewis

Hi Amanda, please get in touch with our customer service team, they'll be happy to help with your inquiry. The number is 08458380781. Please bear in mind that we are operating on skeleton staff so have only one person in the admin office, which may mean you have to call more than once.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Only the large size of polypropylene is now available which you can get 24 headbands from. Stocks should be getting booked in today.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Mandy, please get in touch with our customer services team, who would be happy to assist with your enquiry. Please note, we only have one person in the office at the moment so you may have to try more than once. 0845 838 0781

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Lisa, 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

Without a laser cutter, they would be extremely difficult to make in a way that would make them useable. As we have laser cutters available we haven't explored any alternatives. Sorry I couldn't be more help with this.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Kevin, check out the repository on GitHub, it contains the files, instructions and a FAQ. With regard to polypropylene, stocks are becoming harder to come by. We have stock going in today but when they sell through some colours may take up to 2 months to reappear. https://github.com/re-innovation/Face_Visor_PPE

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi John, they are merely a shield and will be thoroughly cleaned before each use by the organisations that are using them. Hospitals are full of medical experts that wear PPE daily and if there was an issue they would be the first to point it out. Hospitals have expressed gratitude that so many people, across the country, have risen to the challenge to help their staff stay safe during this critical time.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi, we should have stock today. Some colours are already in short supply though, namely red and blue.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi, there is a link in the blog but it is hard to spot, all of the files you need can be found here: https://github.com/re-innovation/Face_Visor_PPE

Lakhvinder Singh

Lakhvinder Singh

Hi, I am Head of technology at Barclay Academy, and really interested in making the masks, we have the materials and a big lase cutter, can the laser cut file be shared please, so we can start the manufacture. Thank you

Mr Benson

Mr Benson

We at Crewe UTC would love to help with the manufacture and supply of these PPE masks. We have A2 laser cutters ready to help! We ran a batch of 80 of your design off today using what resources we had and are getting them into the hands of keyworkers in the local area We unfortunately ran out of materials but will be eager to help once we restock!

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi, we are hoping to be back in stock tomorrow. I think most suppliers will be in a similar position.

John Diskin

John Diskin

Can you tell me, these face masks, PPE as you call them. What testing and to what certification do these face makes have. Just looking like PPE does not mean it is PPE, PPE must be tested and certified as such. Surely medical equipment going onto wards where patients have many and varied medical conditions must be sterile, both in manufacture and packaging. I am not doubting your desire to help, I have 2 Daughter in-laws both front line NHS Staff, one is a Critical Care Ward Sister the other a Midwife, I have spoken to the Clinical Care Nurse Daughter who tells me that they are getting these things from schools, I am Horrified that my daughters and others lifes are being put at risk by using inferior equipment being incorrectly and I would illegally described as PPE.

Tracy

Tracy

Hi my school would like to help making the facial screens but there seems to be no Polypropylene left to order. Can you advise where else we can gat this from.

Robert

Robert

I don't suppose anyone has a .dtd file for 2D Techsoft we would love to make some of these, we have the materials.

Mark Donnison

Mark Donnison

Hi Mark! I would expect that they would be cleaned before use on each occasion at their destination but cleaning them yourself before despatch would be a bonus if you have the sanitiser.

Kevin

Kevin

Hi can you please let me know what quantities of polypropylene sheet and clear acetate you have and the quantities we'd need to create the face visors in quantity, we have a 1200 × 900 laser cutter and would like to help in creating the facemasks please feel free to call on 07752 107235 Thanks Kevin

Dilhani

Dilhani

What's a alternative to bendable head band if we do not have laser cutter ? Can you please recommend ?an alternative bendable band I can buy please

Mark Nicholson

Mark Nicholson

Hi Mark – I'm Head of D&T at Ashlyns School – is there a need to clean the visors before they are dispatched? I want to see if I have the materials in school on Monday but I know that sanitiser might be an issue. Regards,Mark

Lusa walton

Lusa walton

Hi anyone have a source of acetate i could use. Amazon can't deliver until 14th April.

Amanda Holtby

Amanda Holtby

We are looking at purchasing for our local palliative care team in Leeds. Thank you

Mandy Haywood

Mandy Haywood

Hi, I work at city hospital as a nurse we are having trouble getting hold of ppe visors, I'm just enquiring how much it would cost to order a batch.

V Churchman

V Churchman

I cannot get into work at present, as I am self isolating, to open the files for the laser cutter. What size polypropylene do I require so I can order some for next week..

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

We will be starting on Monday once we get the clear plastic delivered from Amazon. Mark

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