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3D Productivity Suite supporting the fight against the coronavirus

14 Apr 2020 1:30PM

The University of Suffolk’s 3D Productivity Suite within the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Center (IWIC) has started to produce visors for healthcare professionals working on the frontline to combat coronavirus. 

Technicians in IWIC, are printing 3D Verkstan frames in PLA and Prusa designed frames for a variety of healthcare sites across the region including hospitals and GP surgeries. 

Danielle Taylor, Technician for 3D Technologies at the University, said “Like many other companies and institutions in the UK, the University of Suffolk is keen to support our healthcare workers as they look after those who are sick during this pandemic.” 

“Our contribution so far has been to produce face shields that will help protect the wearer from airborne droplets that are discharged from a patient when they cough or sneeze.  The shields are made from two parts, a clear visor and a headband.  The headband is 3D printed in our 3D Productivity Suite on our industrial-grade FDM machine and our two desktop machines. The visor is laser cut from Polycarbonate in our 3D Workshops.”  

“I feel lucky that I have the opportunity to help our healthcare workers who put themselves at risk every day and I'm proud to be working for an institution that supports this.” 

It is thanks to a capital grant from Ipswich Borough Council, that the University was able to acquire industrial standard 3D printers, which now form the heart of the Productivity Suite. Ipswich Borough Council Leader David Ellesmere said, “It’s great to see a major investment by the Council being put to such a good use. This vital support for healthcare professionals shows how valuable and versatile this advanced 3D printer is. This is a really welcome innovation by the University, and we look forward to seeing these visors get to where they are most needed during the current crisis.” 

Stef Thorne, Director of Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship at the University, added, “The IWIC is pleased to be contributing the use of the 3D Productivity Suite at this time to print and distribute visors to the healthcare communities across our region and particularly within Ipswich and Suffolk.  The team is working flat out to meet demand and will continue to do so during the pandemic to be of service to our communities.”  

To contact the University of Suffolk about its 3D printing facilities, please email 3dprinting@uos.ac.uk

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