New face shield designs produced by engineers at the University of Hull could increase production of the life-saving equipment across the UK.
The university is leading a collaboration to produce face shields to support the NHS and other healthcare organisations in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
The designs – which take just minutes to make – will be shared nationally to enable production in other regions.
Engineers have been working with NHS consultants and industrial partners on the designs, which can be produced by high-volume manufacturing techniques such as laser cutting and injection moulding, rather than 3D printing.
This will increase the amount that can be produced every day from 100 to up to 5,000.
The process started with a request from NHS consultants. The university team used the designs shared by the engineering and maker community which they adapted to suite their 3D printers and to fit with the feedback from medical consultants.
We’ve now moved to laser cutting, rather than 3D printing face shield masks.
This will ⬆️ production from 100 to 2000-5000 each day.
— University of Hull (@UniOfHull) April 7, 2020
Senior engineering lecturer Nathan Brown, who leads the project, said: “Across the university, we are using our research, expertise and resources in a diverse range of ways to help with the nation’s effort to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a team, we have invested a huge amount of time and effort in developing the designs. We have been in regular contact with those on the frontline of the NHS to develop designs that will protect staff but can be produced quickly and with maximum efficiency.”
A collaboration between the university’s Aura Innovation Centre, Hull University Business School and businesses, industrial partners, school and colleges has delivered about 500 face shields in under four days.
It is hoped 20,000 more will be produced every week using the industrial technique.