Radiographer uses 3D printing to meet demand for PPE

2020 05 22 15 41 7920 2020 05 22 Chris Shepherd 20200522152825

A resourceful radiographer from the U.K. has used his home 3D printer to create hundreds of face shields for hospitals, care homes, and other institutions in urgent need of personal protective equipment (PPE) to care for COVID-19 patients.

Chris Shepherd.Chris Shepherd.

By day, Chris Shepherd works at a cancer care unit at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, north of London. But by night, the radiographer has been manufacturing face shields using PVC plastic sheets and an open-sourced design from Prusa Research. He got the idea in mid-March after hearing a local intensive care unit wanted to increase their PPE, according to a press release issued on 20 May by the U.K. Society of Radiographers.

"Times are tough right now and the genuine care for each other and acts of kindness really help you feel that you aren't going through things alone. The healthcare community is going through hell right now, but at least we are going through it together,” he said. "My simple hope is that I am able to help whoever wants and needs it. I honestly have enough demand to run a second machine now but that is an expense that I just can't stretch to at the moment."

So far, Shepherd has created more than 300 visors for intensive care units, accident and emergency departments, care homes, ambulance workers, community nursing staff, and even his own hospital. To make the shields, he contributed nearly 1,000 pounds (1,116 euros) of his own money for supplies, including a new 3D printer. He has also listed a request for funding on a GoFundMe page, where he's raised more than 2,000 pounds (2,232 euros) of his 3,000-pound (3,349-euro) goal.

“My colleagues are an amazing bunch of people and are always striving to go that extra mile for the patient. I just want to help where I can," he said.

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