Norwich University of the Arts to produce 1,000 PPE face shields a day
- Credit: NUA
Four hundred face shields were cut in a single day by staff at a Norwich university to provide extra protective equipment for NHS workers.
While students are not in lectures due to the coronavirus restrictions, design studios and 3D printers at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) have been put to use making PPE for NHS staff in Norfolk .
NUA technician Sarah Kennedy used the university’s laser cutters to create the face shields to an NHS specification, while colleague Adam Kiraly used 3D printers to fabricate headband components for complete visors.
NUA Pro Vice-Chancellor Neil Powell said that if sufficient supplies of PETG plastic could be sourced, production at the university could reach 1,000 face shields per day.
MORE: Norfolk academy printing PPE gear to support NHSThe project is the outcome of a collaboration with the University of East Anglia (UEA) and part of efforts around the county to source new personal protective equipment for NHS staff.
Further work is now under way to explore how NUA’s 3D printers could be used to fabricate ventilator components.
Professor Powell said: “Obviously we are delighted that NUA’s 3D precision print and laser technologies, which are routinely used by students in the production of their creative work, can be re-tasked to help protect front line NHS staff.
“We are very grateful to our own key workers who have taken this work on so enthusiastically, whilst following government advice regarding social distancing and safe working practices”.
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Meanwhile, the first 50 wash sacks for medical scrubs sewn by NUA technician Chloe Fuller are being delivered to the NHS.
Chloe, whose sister Fay is a nurse, has been working at home on the sacks, which allow NHS staff to safely send their scrubs for high temperature cleaning at the end of each shift.
Her work on the wash sacks followed an approach by NUA alumnus, Cordelia Spalding, who asked if the university could support the Norfolk Scrubs volunteer project.
MORE: Norwich care home charity urges public to donate to protect ‘amazing’ staffNUA is the latest school or college in Norfolk to join the effort to produce PPE.
Teachers at Hethersett Academy, Fakenham Academy, the Norwich School, Framingham Earl High School and Wymondham College are amongst those to have used technology including 3D printers to produce protective equipment.