COVID-19: Leading UK architecture firms join forces to 3D print PPE for NHS workers

A number of the UK’s leading architecture practices have launched an initiative to utilise thousands of 3D printers to produce face visors for the NHS as part of the battle to beat COVID-19.

The Industry Prints, led by HTA Design and HOK’s London Studio, is a co-ordinated effort to manufacture face visors to exact NHS specifications and distribute them directly to front-line workers.

How it works: HTA Design and HOK’s London Studio have worked directly with the NHS to develop an open-source pattern for the 3D printer to manufacture plastic headsets. A product specification and simple, downloadable instructions are available on the website. Once printed, the headsets are then delivered to distribution hubs, fitted with visors, sterilised, and distributed to hospitals where the greatest shortages have been identified by the NHS.

The resources are found here:

The Industry Prints is already supported by 20 leading UK practices, with the capacity to produce over 4,000 face visors per week. HTA Design and HOK’s London Studio are calling on further support from the UK’s architecture and design community with the aim of producing 35,000 protective masks per week.

Richard Foxley, senior associate at HTA Design, who started the initiative, said

This is a call to action that goes beyond the architecture profession: Anyone with a 3D printer and the right materials can visit our website and find out how to get involved. We are all in this together, and this initiative hopes to play its part in getting vital supplies to those most in need.”

David Weatherhead, Design Principal at HOK’s London Studio, said:

“The Industry Prints is a means of bringing together UK architecture practices in a coordinated effort to support the NHS, particularly those staff working without PPE on the front line. We have seen some fantastic examples of companies and individuals producing PPE through 3D printing; through this initiative we can ensure the face masks produced are to the NHS specifications and are delivered to hospitals as quickly as possible. We hope architecture and design practices, and anyone with a 3D printer, can support using the resources we have created.”  

The Industry Prints initiative is supporting the Shield Project, a collaboration of independent UK PPE campaigns, thought leaders and industry experts who are united in their critical missions to provide NHS and care workers with the vital PPE that they require to do their job safely in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

As part of the collaboration The Industry Prints is working with the Contractors Appeal and NEAD, National 3D Printing Society, MedSupplyDriveUK, Makerversity, Helpful Engineering, Women in 3D Printing, developer Greystar’s ‘Do Some Good’ campaign and the RIBA to get as many UK firms as possible involved.

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