Thank you for your support – Aetha Design Face Shield Campaign for NHS

So How & When did we get into 3D printing visors the local NHS teams:

About 3 weeks ago just before the UK went into lockdown we had several phone calls with friends who worked for the NHS who all said they didn’t feel that there was enough PPE available on their wards or in their departments. We shrugged and agreed how terrible that was and after an hour or so googling how we could possibly help, we found some designers in Europe 3D printing with their workshop FDM printers some face shields. This instantly inspired us to see if we could print one using our in-house workshop which we could then send to our friends so at least they could protect themselves.

What we found was most of the open source files available were 3 – 4 hour prints (for 1 visor) and contained extra design detail like logos which only increased the design time so Josh from our team went ahead and put together a really simple design which was 1 hour. We tried it, sent it to one of Sophie’s friends who works locally for the NHS in the labs for feedback, she tried it with her team, gave us some feedback and hey presto we had an improved design. We then sent some to a local GP friend of ours who also agreed that they were fit for purpose.

Sophie & Tom included the visors on their instagram stories and before we knew it, we were getting messages and emails from other NHS teams including procurement managers from one of the local Hospitals asking us to provide them with some. We made 50 as our first batch and were overwhelmed not only by people asking for more where they worked but also by families and friends asking if they could help us keep up with demand by buying us some more filament (which we use with the 3D printers) This led us to starting our very first Crowdfunder so friends and family could donate £5 or £10 towards a roll of filament so we could continue to donate them to NHS teams and care givers. 

Within 1 day of setting up the Crowdfunder page we hit our target of £1000 which would allow us to print and assemble about 600 – 650 shields which we were delighted to have hit. With just 3 days left of the Crowdfunder campaign we just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported and give an update on where all the face shields have gone. With the additional donations, we will be aiming to make even more over the coming weeks in line with demand and any donations we don’t put towards shields will go to the NHS.

Below are pictures either sent to us of teams after receiving their face shields or us packing up and delivering them.

Deliveries so far have gone to – Bournemouth Christchurch Hospital, Poole Hospital, Canford Chase Care Home, West Howe Clinic,  The Laurels & Pine Carehome in Oakdale, NHS Nuffield Health Hospital, Royal Papworth Hospital & Lilliput Surgery. We have delivered over 300 so far and have more going out tomorrow with a further +200 early next week.

Collaboration has always been proven to be the best way to get something moving quickly and we have been very grateful to have help from local designer Robert Dykes & the design team at Muc Off (Tony) who have  been printing around the clock and helping us keep up with demand.

We are trying to keep up with demand and now that the local UK providers are catching up with making them with mass manufacture – we are hoping that the NHS and care givers will be able to get their hands on the EU regulated versions which we have heard are now back in stock and available to purchase. We have made sure we direct private health care providers to the official retailers but of course if they can’t get an order quick enough then we can help as an interim.

All the while, the team have continued working on their normal project work mainly organising the shields over lunch periods or in evenings. We have been very happy to help local NHS & care givers and wish them the best of luck with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


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