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Volunteers at 3D-printing ‘farm’ produce 1,500 face masks a day for Guy’s and St Thomas’

Volunteers are using 3D printers at a special ‘farm’ to supply personal protective equipment to Guy’s and St Thomas’ frontline staff.

The site, in Dartford, has brought together 3D printing companies and hobbyists to produce around 1,500 face shields a day.

Hospitals in the Trust have recently received their first delivery of face shields created at the site, which has more than 200 printers running 24 hours a day.

Once parts are made, the visors are assembled with the help of volunteers from King’s College London and Brunel University.

A 3D printer making the masks for Guy’s and St Thomas’ doctors and nurses

“It’s been incredible to see so many different partners collaborating to get the 3D print farm up and running,” said David Lawson, who heads up procurement at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

The teams of volunteers are allowing face masks to be produced at scale, which also means masks can be given to other hospitals who need them, he added.

Hobbyists with the tech were matched up with the hospitals by PI Supply, which sells industrial electronics.

“Our company has a number of 3D printers at the office, and I wanted to see if we could use them to help out with the PPE shortages to help frontline workers stay safe,” said the company’s Aaron Shaw.

“My sister and brother-in-law are both junior doctors so it is an issue close to my heart.”

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