Oxford Brookes staff print 3D face visors to protect health workers

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

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The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics at Oxford Brookes University has responded to the call for more personal protective equipment for NHS workers and others fighting COVID-19, by producing 3D printed face visors.

The homes of staff members have become hives of activity since the start of the crisis in March 2020. Seven 3D printers were transferred from the Oxford Brookes Wheatley Campus and put to constant use in garages, dining rooms and any spare space. The initial goal was for 1,000 visors but now the team expects to produce several thousand, as a result of some re-engineering and  the generous sponsorship of the filament supplier, 3D Jake, who are based in Austria.

No Room is safe

The visors consist of a 3D printed headband that holds in place a clear plastic sheet to cover the face. A complete mask takes approximately one hour to create.

The recipients of the visors span both national NHS and local community settings. They  include St Thomas’ Hospital London, Southampton General Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary and the Churchill Hospital Oxford. Also in Oxford, a funeral director in Blackbird Leys, a vet’s clinic in Botley and a number of GP surgeries, who have all expressed thanks for receiving the visors.

Gordana Collier, Head of the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics commented:

“I am proud of the talented team of academic and technical staff, who carefully considered what we could do outside of our daily work, to make a difference in addressing this terrible situation. They were motivated to make protective face visors.

“This has meant diligent work, sometimes involving late nights and early mornings. It has been most gratifying to hear words of appreciation from hospitals, healthcare workers and others in the community, who have received the face visors. We hope that our effort will inspire even more people to find a way to do whatever works for them, to help in this crisis.”

Production of the face visors has reached 900. The response of the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics is part of a wide range of activity at Oxford Brookes, combining efforts by students, staff and partners to combat COVID-19, in Oxford and beyond the city.