• covidprintoxford

What’s in a visor?

Two headbands for the time of one! This printer is large enough to print at double capacity, from start to finish this took around 90 minutes.

With a benchmark of over 3500 visors surpassed, it seems like a good time to learn a little more about how we make the equipment itself ready to be sent out to the people who rely on them for their safety and peace of mind.

The main component is the head-band itself. A piece of plastic which someone in our network of 3D printers across the county creates. One of the joys of 3D printing is the ability to adapt and change designs based on feedback from one print to the next. As such the current head-band is the third iteration of the second design being used by our printers. This one comes from a Danish 3D printing group and is favoured by printers and users alike. It’s quick to print (between one and two hours), a comfortable fit for a range of head sizes, is sealed at the top, and is quick to assemble.

The printing process varies from one person to the next, and some printers manage to get three visors at once printing on their machines. After a lengthy calibration process, things are largely automated, until the final product needs to be smoothed by hand to ensure comfort for the wearer.

There are two other key components – the elastic and the shield itself. The elastic comes in very long rolls of up to 250 metres and needs to be cut down to size, around 70 cm a piece. The face shields are simply clear plastic A4 document wallet covers and need no further adjustment.

Before the PPE visors are sent out the components are carefully sterilised and then bagged in groups of five. There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into producing these innocuous and simple looking pieces of safety equipment!

Thanks to the volunteers all working together we’re up to a production capacity of around 450 visors a day and the demand for them isn’t slowing down. If you’d like to help out then We have a fundraiser to help cover the material cost of production and delivery. Just click here. Thank you.

Our headbands in the calibration process, printing mode, and ready to be smoothed down by hand.

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