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What’s happened to the 100’s of PPE visors and straps we have 3D printed in recent weeks?

This is the story of an inspirational community effort by 3P Innovation in Warwick and supported by SolidPrint 3D to produce 1000’s of visors from a network of SMEs and distribute them to frontline care and NHS staff.

UK businesses and community join forces to supply visors to protect front line NHS staff

We have set up a community-led production initiative, focussed on production of PPE visors to the NHS and care-worker community across the UK.

We have engaged the community of businesses and individuals who are volunteering to print 3D components for us; We are then assembling the full visor kits, packing and distributing to anyone who needs them.

For distribution, we are working with Visor Bikes, volunteers from Midland Freewheelers, Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikes and Orbital Direct for country-wide delivery services.

Thanks to generous donations from Mondelez, GSK, BAT and a host of other businesses and individuals, we are now set up to produce thousands of visors each week.

Visors are completely free of charge: Click on the Order Form link to place an order.

As this is a completely voluntary community lead project, we need funding to be able to continue to supply the visors; Please click on the ‘Donate’ button to donate and help us to buy more injection moulding materials, visors, head-straps and packaging materials.

Please read below to find out more about the visor initiative.

After our Managing Director, Tom Bailey, received a call from his sister (a retired NHS nurse but well connected) desperate for help getting visors, we decided to start a community lead visor production project that would lead to thousands of visors being delivered daily to NHS and healthcare workers.

After this call, we had an initial conversation with the company called 'Masks For Docs' based in California and based on their advice, we pivoted part of our business - 3P innovation- to support Covid19 NHS supply chain by designing and making visors on a not-for-profit basis.Within 48 hours we had shipped finished visors to NHS (Southampton).

Within 72 hours of announcing the project, we had over 50 volunteers sign up. This has now grown into an amazing community hub what is now several hundreds of businesses and hobby engineers with 3D printing capabilities, who are printing visor parts with their rapid prototype machines and shipping them to our brand-new Warwick facility. We have been working closely with SolidPrint3D, who have delivered thousands of visors parts to us from their network of volunteers.

We are truly amazed and humbled by the number of volunteers who have come on board to help not only with the printing, but with assembly and distribution services to support this project. Their continued support helps the NHS and healthcare workers on the frontline battling COVID-19 to receive the correct PPE visors that are so desperately needed.

In addition, we have been able to leverage our long-standing relationship with multinationals who are also helping us with this initiative. Since the purchase and generous donation by Mondelez International of injection moulding tools, we have been able to dramatically increase production of the visor parts. Combined with the 3D printing community, we have created a supply chain that is capable of reaching circa 15,000 per week.

As of 22nd April, we have already received over 15,000 visor orders from the NHS and healthcare workers, and this is increasing by the minute.Senior NHS contacts have been very supportive of the initiative and we are working closely with them to ensure NHS standards and expectations are achieved. We have also had some really grateful responses from those who have received visors from this project.

"I just wanted to send a massive thank you for the donation of visors for us to use through our covid-19 charity operations. We are a local charity feeding over 1400 people a week through the crisis as well as providing well-being support, essential items and household goods to local rough sleepers who have recently been accommodated. To know that we are keeping all our Key Volunteers safe while they are on their deliveries and meeting rough sleepers in the community, it is extremely reassuring and we can’t thank you enough for this generous donation. Many thanks for all you are doing to support the NHS and Key workers in the community. Together we really are making a difference. Thank you for all you do." - Lianne Kirkman, CEO at Helping Hands Community Project

"Being protected is vital in the current crisis. The visor was a godsend that made me feel safer when doing my NHS clinics." - Joe Alsousou, Orthopaedic Surgeon
NHS staff at John Radcliffe trauma centre

"The staff team are overjoyed with the delivery of the visors. I have spent much time over the last 4 weeks registering for PPE, especially visors for staff nursing frail and vulnerable residents at this difficult time, and the only delivery has been from yourselves so a huge "thank you” from all concerned. The care of this staff team is of the very best and to be able to provide this PPE is better than winning the lottery!” - Annette Homer, Director of Business Development at the Bournville Village Trust

How to get involved:
Along with support with the 3D Printing and donations, we are asking for help to donate the following products and services:

  • PETG film in roll or sheet form
  • IPA (70%+) and surgical spirit
  • Any PPE (gloves/masks and Tyveks)
  • Shares and likes to spread the message on Social Media