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3D Printing PPE

The R.E.A.L. Education STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) team is continuing to create PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for frontline workers.

At the beginning of the lockdown period, STEM Coordinator Duncan Allen linked up with 3D Crowd’s The Big Print, and has been using R.E.A.L.’s 3D printers to create the much needed PPE items.

Duncan said: “Our first batch of protective visors were shipped early in April, and we have been producing more items as the lockdown period has continued.

“Once produced, the next step was to play a part in the logistics of getting the PPE to the right people.

“I have been involved with the online forum for the 8,000-plus people who have been 3D printing, and was alerted by local coordinators about a lack of PPE requests in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. After lots of emails, word of mouth and assistance from colleagues at R.E.A.L., the local distribution map became populated with requests that were swiftly met by volunteers from the 3D crowd.”

“Being part of the online community has given me the opportunity to learn from the most knowledgeable 3D printers in the country and to see large scale industrial 3D printers in action. It has massively increased the scope of STEM lessons at R.E.A.L. – giving our learners improved educational experiences because of this very meaningful project”

“Learners are able to print visor components as part of STEM sessions, and as the PPE shortage for frontline workers is being addressed and as schools begin to look towards returning, we now have the chance to make visors that can be used at R.E.A.L. where appropriate.”

The Big Print has delivered over 180,000 face shields to over 90 NHS Trusts and care homes.The project was crowdfunded and raised over £150,000 to cover costs that include the plastic screens, printing filament and elastic. For more information about 3D Crowd and The Big Print, click here.

R.E.A.L. Alternative Provision