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University of Surrey use 3D printers to make PPE

3 minute read
University of Surrey use 3D printers to make PPE

Published at 6:00am 9th May 2020.

The University of Surrey has donated more than 120,000 items of personal protective equipment to healthcare organisations across the county. 

Around 9,000 pieces have been made in the University's workshop using 3D printers and the rest supplied by former students and international partners.

The majority of the equipment has been given to Guildford's Royal Surrey and other organisations, such as GP surgeries and care homes, have also benefited from supplies such as surgical masks, gowns, gloves, shoe covers and safety goggles. 

PPE university of surrey

One of the University’s workshop managers, Steve Bower explained why he was happy to get involved: 

"When the severity of the pandemic became clear, everyone in the workshop saw it as our civic duty to support our NHS and key care workers,

“Covid Assist, the national body coordinating support efforts in the fight against the disease, got in touch and asked if we could help.

"We looked at the types of items they wanted and we decided to manufacture face visors.

"We used a design from Italy that their health service employed at the peak of their Covid-19 infection.

“We have a large workshop and, in term time, there can up to 11 staff and 50 students inside.

“Because of social distancing, we’re limiting the number of technicians working on this project to four at any one time.

"On a typical day, we'll produce about 120 frames. The shields take seconds to produce. In one day, we produced 2000 shields.

“We’re just glad we can do our bit to help out in a time of national crisis.” 

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Patrick Degg, Vice-President, External Engagement at the University of Surrey, said:

“When people come to study at the University of Surrey, many stay and make Guildford their home.

"But those that move on leave with a permanent attachment to the University, the town and the county.

"It is those connections that have led to these incredibly generous gifts from both former students and our international partners – many of which employ University of Surrey graduates.

“We are proud to have been able to play a small part in protecting those working heroically to tackle the pandemic.

"This is particularly important to us, as many of our graduates and final year nursing and other healthcare students are themselves working on the NHS front line.”