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The Department of Art and Design, the Commercial Operations Directorate and the Faculty of Science and Engineering have brought together their 3D printers to the Design Suite at Thornton Science Park. The printers are now being run by a specialist team from the Faculty of Science and Engineering on rota to produce the much needed durable and reusable face visors for staff on the frontline. To date over 500 face visors have been produced and collected for the Countess of Chester Hospital, the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and Aintree University Hospital.

When collecting a batch of the face visors Karen Ward, Consultant Physiotherapist in the Ventilation Inpatient Centre at Aintree University Hospital said: "We are so grateful for the help - visors protect both our patients and staff and are crucial to our care of those affected by COVID-19.  From all of us, a big thank you to the team at the University of Chester."  

The Faculty team has also been supporting a dedicated student from The Grange School in Northwich, whose parents are both front line NHS clinicians. After the cancellation of his GCSEs and seeing the desperate need for PPE, Ben Scawn was eager to use skills learnt during his GCSE 3D Design course to produce 3D printed head bands. Ben needed some support with the designs, and thankfully his Mother who works in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Countess of Chester, was able to put him touch with the team at the University after they had donated a supply of 3D printed visors to the hospital. Laboratory Manager for the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Dr James Nicholson and the Faculty team were able to share the headband design files with Ben and also supported his production by attaching the plastic fronts and elastic straps to Ben’s printed headbands. Ben’s visors have been donated to the Countess of Chester Hospital and also to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital where Ben’s Father works.

Dr James Nicholson said: “It’s been great to support Ben and to see the results of his dedication and skills. The team in the Faculty of Science and Engineering along with colleagues in the Energy Centre at Thornton, have done a fantastic job. We couldn’t be more proud. It’s just yet another great example of collaborative working and demonstrating our expertise to come together to solve a problem. It means so much to the team and the University as a whole to know that we are helping our frontline healthcare workers at this crucial time.”

As well as working with the Faculty team, the technical team based in the University’s Energy Centre at Thornton Science Park is further aiding the face visor production using laser cutting technology. The team was approached by business woman Tracey Telford, whose business had been previously supported through the University’s I2C programme. Staff are helping Tracey’s efforts as part of the #Shields4Cheshire&Merseyside project to create the face visors using their specialist skills and equipment. They have also produced a specific assembly instruction video. So far they have made over 1,200 visors.


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