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23 April 2020

School volunteers spend day and night printing face shields for NHS staff

Volunteers from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences helped print over 1,000 face shields for frontline medical staff

face shields 3D printing

Students, academic and professional staff from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences have been volunteering at a 3D printer farm to produce face shields for frontline medical staff tending to patients during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. Guy’s and St Thomas’ has received its first delivery of face shields. 

Several 3D printing manufacturers have been brought together at Guy’s and St Thomas’ supply chain hub in Dartford, with over 200 printers working 24 hours a day to make the face shields.  

The farm produces roughly 1,500 face shields paired with a visor which are then assembled by the team of volunteers also from Brunel University.  

PhD student Antonia Pontiki volunteered at the 3D printer farm.

To be part of such a great initiative - 200 3D printers, 1000 eye shields per day for London hospitals, every little help in this time of crisis counts, and it is great to see that a lot of people have gone out of their comfort zones to offer their help.

Antonia Pontiki, PhD student, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

Postdoc Michael Ebner said: “The NHS has been giving its all during these difficult times. We are very grateful of iMakr and King's for this coordinated effort so that we can help where it's most needed.” 

David Lawson, chief procurement officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “It’s been incredible to see so many different partners collaborating to get the 3D print farm up and running.  

“The team of volunteers, organised by our commercial services colleagues, are ensuring that we’re able to rapidly produce our own face shields and other items to support our frontline staff at the Trust. Being able to print our own stock will also allow us to support other trusts in need of these items.”  

3D printing specialists PI Supply and iMakr have provided many of the printers being used at the farm, as well as giving their expertise in the field and helping to find volunteers in the 3D printing community.