Coronavirus: Moray volunteers making face visors for NHS
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A group of 3D printing enthusiasts are busy making hundreds of potentially life-saving face visors for local health centres and other facilities.
Moray Makerspace has already used its 3D printers to create visors for Elgin Community Surgery to help protect NHS staff from coronavirus.
The group is now busy meeting other orders.
These include 30 more for Forres Health Centre, 25 for Moray Coast Medical Practice in Lossiemouth and 60 more masks for Elgin (Maryhill) Health Centre.
Consisting of a 3D printed plastic headband they have an acetate visor to cover the wearer's face.
A piece of elastic goes at the back allowing the visors to fit different users.
Each cost less than £1 to make.
The chairwoman of Moray Firth Makerspace is Claire Griffiths, whose normal job is teaching computing science as well as information and communications technology to pupils at Kinloss, Aberlour and St Sylvester's primary schools and Lossiemouth High.
Claire, who lives in Elgin, said: "It takes between two to four hours to make a visor using a 3D printer.
"So far we have four printers amongst our group's members and they're all working away at their homes.
"Gordonstoun School has also volunteered to help by using their printers to produce more headbands for the visors.
"We're printing two different models, depending on what the centres have asked for to meet their specific needs."
However, brilliant as 3D technology undoubtedly is, to meet the pressing demand for face visors the group have realised they need to look to other speedier methods to meet local demand.
On Friday it had orders for 120 masks.
By Monday that number had significantly increased.
Wanting to broaden the number of places they could supply the group is now scaling up their operation, and they are looking at the visors now in use at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
These are a simpler design of acetate visors for single-use, which use foam pieces, double-sided tape, elastic and multi-cut acetate sheets.
Claire said: "A recent development in the last couple of days is that Life Scan, in Inverness have kindly offered to make the disposable visors for us.
"We are supplying the recommended foam and double-sided tape.
"And we are looking forward to sharing them out in the Moray community."
On a personal level, Claire is also producing visors for the first aiders at the Seafield Childcare Hub, where she is currently looking after youngsters whose parents are key workers.
She said: "We are all doing what we can to help."
"I have a sister who is a nurse working in a busy hospital and she says they appreciate the support they are getting.
"Also, both of my parents are in their 80s and have health conditions which keep them indoors, self-isolating.
"They have been thrilled at the response of close neighbours and friends offering to bring them food and supplies.
"This community spirit is present all over the UK and, as I know first-hand, its really strong in Moray.
"Moray Makerspace wanted to play our part in this community effort.
"Thank you to all those who are providing their time, effort and donations to support us.
Moray Firth Makerspace is a registered charity which, in normal times, holds regular talks and workshops about 3D printing as well a range of other STEM educational activities including computer coding.
Click here to learn more about them or to offer your support.
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