To directly support this action, RS has teamed up with its RS PRO supplier to donate 400kg of PLA filament to N3DPS from end-of-reel-supplies. This quantity of filament is said to be enough to produce up to 20,000 visor frames and is available to users who join the N3DPS campaign.
Over the past two weeks, RS has reached out through its DesignSpark engineering platform to the 930,000-strong DesignSpark community, urging members with access to a 3D printer to join the urgent campaign to produce NHS-accepted protective visors.
RS has also been developing a 3D printing farm (pictured, below) in Corby, Northamptonshire, that aims to produce over 1,000 visors per week. N3DPS has agreed to loan a number of its machines to support this. The printing farm is due to commence production this week.
Mike Bray, VP of Innovation at RS, comments: “In this global pandemic, it is critical that we all work together with the same shared goal of keeping frontline staff, health workers and patients safe. This collaborative effort among the 3D printing community will go some way to providing PPE that is currently in such desperately short supply amid this crisis.”
Another collaborator playing a key role in the N3DPS initiative is Northampton-based plastics manufacturer igus, which is acting as the main distribution hub and providing its facilities and staff to assemble the visors. The company has also donated the plastic sheets that are added to each 3D printed frame before they are distributed by MedSupplyDriveUK.