Couple turn spare bedroom into 3D face shield production line

A university worker has transformed her spare bedroom into a production line for hundreds of 3D face shields to go to NHS frontline staff.

Lauren Emery, an administrator at Lancaster University, and her partner, Sellafield engineer Stephen McEvoy, decided to make the most of their time in lockdown and bought a 3D printer.

The couple, from Ulverston, Cumbria, created a Facebook page and self-funded the initiative but could not keep up with demand.

In a matter of hours they received donations from the public and Lancaster University, and purchased two more printers and have orders for almost 800 masks.

They are buying the materials themselves at a rough cost of £1 per shield but since the Facebook post went live the public has contributed more than £1,700.

Ms Emery said: “We initially had to reject two orders of 1,500 and 600 each as we are only able to make 20 a day but we now have two more printers on order to triple our capacity. Thanks to the public’s help, we are back in contact with those we rejected to see how we can help.

“We are over the moon with the response and are so happy to be supplying GP surgeries, hospitals, and care homes in the Lancashire and Cumbria area, including 60 that will be delivered to the North West Ambulance Service.

“We have also started having inquiries from further afield – some from as far as Jersey, Brighton and Strathclyde.”

Other members of staff, students and academics at the university have been helping with the national Covid-19 response by volunteering, providing expertise, donating equipment and offering accommodation.

Professor Dame Sue Black, pro vice chancellor for engagement, said: “I am simply lost for words at what Lauren and Stephen are doing. It is outstanding and represents the true Lancaster spirit of ingenuity, compassion and pragmatism.

“We have made a donation to them to help them continue their fantastic work.”

For more information visit the dedicated Facebook page at https://fb.me/F3Dprinting

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