Social care and NHS teams given Hatfield university-made face shields using 3D printers

PUBLISHED: 13:37 17 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:04 20 April 2020

A Prusa face shield. Picture: Prusa Research

A Prusa face shield. Picture: Prusa Research


The University of Hertfordshire is yet again helping the NHS and care staff – this time with face shields.

After giving its own personal protective equipment (PPE) and making hand sanitiser, the Hatfield-based university has now been producing face shields using 3D printers in response to demand by Herts County Council.

Herts county councillor Tim Hutchings, cabinet member for public health and prevention, said: “Having already supported us in the production of hand sanitisers, I am immensely grateful to the University of Hertfordshire for continuing to show its determination to go above and beyond in helping protect our frontline health and care staff by now providing face shields.

“These face shields can be important in situations when patients are coughing or need close personal care and will protect crucial health and social care staff from infection.”

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The shields – which cover a person’s face, shielding them from splashes, coughs or sneezes – will be used by frontline staff to provide additional protection when treating COVID-19 patients.

The cross-departmental team from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, School of Creative Arts and School of Life and Medical Sciences sourced sixteen 3D printers from across the University and collaborated on the design and production.

They used 3D printers to layer Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) to create a Prusa design then added an acetate sheet to create the transparent shield, which is pending regulatory approval.

Rodney Day, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Physics, Astronomy and Maths, said: “It’s heartening to witness the energy and capability of our teams in responding to a national need. This demonstrates the commitment of our staff in helping to keep our vital NHS and social care workers safe

Phil Healey, dean of the School of Creative Arts, said: “This is an excellent example of how creative design skills can be used to produce practical equipment to help in the battle against the virus. I’m proud of the commitment of technical colleagues in the School using their expertise to help respond to the national emergency.”

Staff are working on getting more shields to care teams.

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