Bringing the end to face shield production

Well, it feels like we’ve been making face shields forever!

We started back in March when we heard of a group pooling resources to produce face shields for the NHS all over the UK. As soon as we announced we were supporting this group the orders started coming in direct and haven’t stopped.

Over the months we have produced face shields for the NHS, care homes, nurseries, colleges, schools, dentists and anyone that needs them all over the UK. The main focus has been our local area and have produced for our local doctors surgeries, dentists as well as Blackpool, Lancaster and Preston hospitals.

We produced over 4,500 face shields and over 1,000 ear loop fasteners with the majority of funds used to produce the face shields coming from donations to our GoFundMe page.

We also had some amazing support from Gary Smith who himself raised money to fund an extra printer as well as support from Colin Holmes from CPC. CPC very kindly loaned us one of their printers as well as donating another… and provided extra filament, acetate and other bits and bobs. On top of this, we already had our own 3D printer and had purchased another at the start of production. At its peak, we were making 200 shields a day across 5 3D printers.

As we were in lockdown, I turfed the kids out of our converted garage (which is normally their games room) and converted it to our face shield production factory. This meant that I could manage production 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and would always be on hand to load more filament, change the printers over, clean, prepare and package all the orders. What I didn’t realise at the start was this way of working would still be happening well into June.

So what happens to these printers now we’re done?

Well the printer we named ‘Johnny 5 ‘ – an Ultimaker 2+ has a new home and is being donated to Kirkland at Catterall Primary School. The printer known simply as ‘Gary’, is being donated to Garstang Community Academy and finally ‘CPC Colin’ will return back to its home at CPC. These donations would not have been possible without the support from Gary Smith and Colin Holmes from CPC. Our two are now being switched back to their ‘normal’ settings so we can start using them for other projects again.

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone that has supported us during this – donations, equipment, chocolate, flowers and messages – all have meant so much. We’re just proud to have played a small part in helping during this pandemic.

Thank you again everyone.

Now… back to it! 🙂