Donating essential protection and equipment – Loughborugh University

Dr Paul Roach and his children with the 3D printed mask attachments

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is crucial in helping to protect individuals that are exposing themselves to the virus daily, as they work relentlessly to save lives and care for the seriously ill. It is vital that any available equipment is directed to those that really need it.

Various schools, departments and individuals across the University have stepped up to provide their support.

Much-needed PPE supplies were collected from across the main Loughborough campus and donated to support NHS workers at Loughborough Hospital, including spare gloves, face masks and disposable aprons.

The University’s expertise in 3D printing and access to equipment has also enabled academics and colleagues on campus to provide more essential supplies.

Colleagues from across the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, the School of Design and Creative Arts, and the Research and Enterprise Office have come together to supply Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust with face visors.

Working in partnership with engineers at Toyota Manufacturing UK, Loughborough staff are utilising their 3D printing capabilities to produce the frames for the visors and have also helped improve the speed and quality of production. Most of the printing has been completed in the Wolfson Additive Manufacturing labs on campus, and several colleagues, who have access to printers at home, have supported the effort by printing frames to contribute towards production. The collaboration has provided 2,000 visors to Derbyshire NHS Trust.

Colleagues within the Wolfson School have also supplied 200 laser-cut visors to Monarch Care Homes.

Dr Paul Roach, Senior Lecturer in Biomaterials and Interface Science within Loughborough’s School of Science, is also using his expertise and skills to take positive actions to support frontline workers. Using his own 3D printer, Dr Roach is printing attachments for face masks to make them more comfortable than elastic around the ears. He found a design for the attachment online, which he modified to maximise the amount he could print. Paul also turned his support into a learning opportunity for his children by enabling them to help with the design and printing and delivered them to key workers as part of their daily walks. The attachments are now being used in Derby, Burton and Royal Stoke hospitals, as well as local GP surgeries and care homes.

“My young boys found it fun to help start prints off, take them off when complete and start another run. Getting them involved kept them busy and they were really keen to learn how to use the computer for 3D design.”

Dr Paul Roach, Senior Lecturer in Biomaterials and Interface Science, Loughborough University

Content retrieved from: https://volume.lboro.ac.uk/tackling-a-pandemic/.

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