College lecturer prints PPE for the NHS

HoW College 3DPrinting for NHS

Heart of Worcestershire College’s (HoW College) Engineering lecturer, Stephen Kittner, has been putting 3D printers to good use recently in a bid to help provide the NHS with desperately needed personal protective equipment (PPE).

Following an advert on Facebook, Stephen decided he wanted to do his bit to help and immediately began using his 3D printer to produce headbands for the plastic visors used by frontline staff.

Stephen said: “I saw an advert on Facebook asking for 3D printing support, so I immediately downloaded the files and started printing on my own machine. 1 headband takes around 3 hours to print; realising I would only manage around 8 in one day and knowing the huge short fall of PPE in the NHS, I decided to ask on local Facebook groups if anyone had a 3D printer I could borrow to upscale production.

A few responded but I wanted to do more; knowing that HoW College and my previous employer, SGS College, had 3D printers, I began emailing. Both college’s donated 2 printers each and I also received 2 from local individuals.”

Manufacturing the amount of PPE needed is no easy feat, but Stephen is well on the way to making an incredible contribution to the NHS.

Stephen added: “I now have 7 printers running and hope to manufacture 200 visor headbands by Monday 6th April for the first delivery, with production continuing until they are no longer needed. I am setting up a just giving page for people to donate towards the costs of the raw materials; each headband costs about 50p and any donations would be greatly appreciated”

“I just want to do my bit to help during these unprecedented times.”

HoW College, CRQ Director of Engineering and Construction, Nicholas Hardman, said: “HoW College and staff are keen to support the NHS wherever possible with the ongoing efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus. We have been very aware of the shortage of PPE including such as face protection, and as a result we are pleased to be able to support the production via 3D printing of the headbands for new facemasks.

As a College we are in the middle of a large engineering redevelopment project that will include a new 3D design and printing facility; fortunately, we have been able to support Stephen by providing the use of our 3D printers and materials to assist with the production of the headbands. We will continue to support with the production for as long as is required and are very pleased to be assisting the NHS.”

As a College we would like to say a very big thank you to Stephen and the Engineering department for being so willing to get involved with such projects to help the NHS. We are incredibly proud and extremely grateful to have such wonderful staff.