University of Manchester is 3D printing safety equipment for front-line NHS workers

The University of Manchester is repurposing specialised equipment across its campus to help produce safety equipment for NHS workers battling COVID-19 in an attempt to help reduce the critical demand across the region.

In a combined effort with other universities, including Salford and MMU, The University is utilising 3D printing capabilities to design and make headbands for protective facemasks worn by frontline NHS medical staff in hospitals.

With nearly 50 printers across the University it is aimed that around 500 additional mask headbands can be produced per week. The face shield is being laser cut by regional commercial suppliers and assembled at Salford Royal.

Professor Brian Derby is coordinating the 3D printing response at The University of Manchester, he said: 3D printing has allowed the Greater Manchester-based team to progress rapidly from concept, to prototypes, which allowed infection control teams to validate the design and enable the production of PPE acceptable for use in the regions hospitals.”

A team of experimental officers and technical staff who can operate the 3D printers have volunteered to work on site to help with the surge in demand. Measured steps are being taken in an effort to reduce staff travel to minimise risk. NHS staff will collect the masks from the University campus on a daily basis to help resupply their essential stock of PPE. Read more