South Queensferry company to 3D print 50 face shields a day for frontline workers during coronavirus crisis

A company in South Queensferry will soon be 3D printing 50 face shieldsva day for frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and those working in food banks across Edinburgh and the Lothians will benefit from the new personal protective equipment (PPE) production line created by the South Queensferry 3D Printing Collective.

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Eli Jacks, who launched the fundraiser said the printers are being used to create face shields – not dissimilar to protective welding masks – which are then distributed.

The South Queensferry 3D Printing Collective hopes to make more than 50 face shields a day once the new printers are up and running.

More than £1,700 has been raised by generous donors to help run the three printers which make the masks, which each take between 40 minutes and an hour to make.

As of Tuesday evening, the company had produced 100 face shields.

But the money raised has exceeded expectations and the company has ordered two nee printers which, once set up, means they can produce more than 50 face shields a day.

Mr Jacks said: “We are using our 3D printers to produce face shields, which we are distributing to local healthcare workers, nurses, care homes, pharmacists, and others who need them.

“The demand has been overwhelming, as have the offers of help. These workers are putting their health and even their lives at risk in order to keep South Queensferry healthy, so we are doing what we can to support them with 3D printing technology.”

The money raised is also being used to buy supplies as needed, like more PVC sheets, filament and elastics.

Mr Jacks said that, once the coronavirus crisis has passed, they will be donating all of the new printers and any materials they have left to the Queensferry High School's technology lab, so that they can teach kids how to use them.

He added: “This means that when the next crisis hits, we will have a whole generation of young people with the skills to help.

“Any money left over will be used to help the local food bank. This is all thanks to the amazing community in South Queensferry, whose encouragement and support has been mindblowing.

“3D printing has, all around the world, proven to be vital during this epidemic.

“There are ER rooms in Spain, midwives in the Philippines, nurses in Sweden, all using 3D printed face shields, when no other protection is available.”

On Sunday, the First Minister said 34 million facemasks, gloves and other protective items have been delivered to hospitals to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

She said the supplies had been delivered over the past four to six weeks, and that eight weeks’ worth of PPE supplies will be delivered up front to GP surgeries this week.