3D printing has revolutionised manufacturing with everything from 3D printed cookie cutters, embossed rolling pins and model railway accessories to dental implant moulds. Now, thousands of volunteers, both small businesses and consumers, across the UK are giving up their time to use their 3D printers to make the components to create 3D printed face shields – a full-face visor on a plastic headband – which protects the whole of the front of the face.
DPD has joined forces with 3DCrowd, the community of 3D printer owners who are using their machines to help alleviate the acute shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers, collecting the component parts from all the different volunteers and delivering them, free-of-charge, to a central hub in Sheffield where the 3D printed face shields are being assembled by a company called Pimoroni.
DPD will then distribute the completed visors to hospitals, GP practices and other healthcare organisations around the country.
The design for the masks was supplied by Josef Prusa, a 3D printer based in the Czech Republic. Volunteer printers have been supplying their own materials to produce the shields. 3DCrowd has also been collecting donations through crowd funding.
“This is a really smart example of a community working together and shows how our nationwide network can be used to support key services at this time. Our healthcare workers are doing a fantastic job – despite the exceedingly difficult situation they find themselves in. The supply of the much-needed face-shields is crucial, and we are delighted to be able to help.”
– Dwain McDonald, CEO, DPD
If you would like to donate to 3DCrowd or if your business has a 3D printer and you would like to join the effort to supply 3D printed face shields, you can sign up at 3DCrowd