Reaction Engines is pleased to announce that it has begun utilising its 3D printing facilities for production of components for protective face shields for frontline NHS and healthcare workers. As part of a UK-wide initiative coordinated by 3DCROWD UK, production began this week at its headquarters in Culham, Oxfordshire and the first components are now being packaged and shipped.
Reaction Engines is in the fortunate position of being able to offer support as it uses additive manufacturing methods in various components for SABRE and has clean-room production facilities. Some members of staff have even volunteered the use of their own personal printers. Using six 3D printers, a team of volunteers will be printing two important components of the face shield; the headband and the bottom reinforcement. It is these two components which present a problem for traditional mass-production methods as they are expensive to injection mould and take a significant amount of time to set up. There are also very strict hygiene standards that need to be adhered to. The components will be packaged and shipped to a local hub where they will be assembled into full protective face shields and distributed directly to frontline healthcare workers.
3DCROWD UK was set up by palliative care doctor James Coxon and has amassed over 6000 volunteers in two weeks. Since its inception there have been around half a million requests for protective face shields through its website. The group aims to bring together a nationwide network of volunteers, both hobbyists and professional 3D printers, to coordinate a community response in printing, shipping and distributing face shields to frontline workers. Over the Easter weekend, the network delivered over 40,000 faces shields to 90 NHS trusts across the country.
Damian Lochrin, Supply Chain and Production Director had this to say:
“We are pleased to be able to play our part in the fight against Covid-19, and honoured to be able to support frontline NHS and healthcare workers who risk their lives every day. Our team of volunteers have shown great initiative in identifying how we can help the cause and efficiently adapt our technology and facilities”
The first components are being packaged and shipped to a local 3DCROWD UK assembly hub this week and will be distributed directly to frontline healthcare workers as soon as possible.
For more information on 3DCROWD UK and how you can get involved, click here.