After seeing schools and businesses 3D printing face shield components for health workers, the Dean Close Product Design Technology Department set about creating their own designs. The Senior and Prep School teachers were frustrated to find that their 3D printer beds were too small to accommodate some of the parts, and further to this, they were taking 1 hour 20 minutes to print each one! Undeterred, Dom Evans, Mandy Davis and David Jones persevered to come up with new models. In the Senior School, the chosen design was sourced via Facebook, a lightweight design that could be laser cut in house at a rate of five headbands every nine minutes. While the Prep School have opted for a slightly more time-consuming option, producing robust visors that will be more hard-wearing, at a rate of two visors every two hours. The unit cost is approximately 90 pence each but will, of course, be distributed free of charge.  The visors, made from the acetate (usually used to laminate paper and card) is rigid enough to hold the form well.

The manufacture team observed careful social distancing throughout the prototyping and making process, with David Jones working in isolation at DCPS and Dom Evans and Mandy Davis working at a safe distance in the Senior PDT department. Head of Product Design Technology, Dom Evans, said “It is great to be able to use our resources that were sat idle during the school closure, for some good.  I know there are a good number of the DT community across the world doing what they can at the moment, be it from home or, on site where they can get access.”

The visors are left for 72 hours before being bagged and distributed to local hospitals and care homes. The shields are already in use at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Ear Nose and Throat unit and will be delivered to Gloucester Royal Hospital later this week.

Should anyone have access to materials that can be used (PETA PETG VINYL or similar) please contact the school – office@deanclose.org.uk