UK engineers at polymer bearing specialist igus have joined the manufacturing effort to produce much-needed personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare
As part of an effort coordinated by the National 3D Printing Society, the firm has repurposed an area of it’s UK office in Nottingham for the assembly of face shields, which it is then packaging up and sending directly to UK hospitals.
The company is currently assembling around 500 shields per day, a feat made possible by many of its staff volunteering to help in their own time.
igus UK purchased the first 7000 face shields and have donated these to the cause. After that, the National 3D Printing Society will be sourcing the face shield material.
The National 3D Printing Society (N3DPS) was established to help further the field of student 3D printing, through knowledge sharing between a network of universities.
The N3DPS protective Face Shield is made with two parts: a screen and a 3D printed mount. The screens can be made from clear PVC binder covers with a 4 hole punch, using an A4 ISO-888 hole configuration. The Mounts can be printed in less than one hour and can be stacked to produce multiple mounts from a single print. With no requirement for fibre elastic to secure the shield, it is claimed to be easier to sanitise than other devices.
The face shields are currently NHS accepted and the group is working on getting the design CE approved.
Commenting on igus’ involvement in the project, the company’s UK MD Matthew Aldridge said: “Once again, the manufacturing industry has showed its resilience and adaptability by rising to the challenges set by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are proud to be part of this, within a week we redeployed a section of the igus factory in the UK to assemble face visors, and are continuing to supply hundreds every day, direct into the NHS and other frontline areas.”