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Fulwood school producing 3D printed valves that could turn snorkel masks into ventilators

Posted on - 30th April, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Health, Preston News, Schools
Archbishop 3D printer
Staff and pupils at Archbishop have been using their 3D printers to produce PPE

Staff from Archbishop Temple School in Fulwood have used the school’s 3D printers to produce sample valves that could convert a full-face swim mask into a life-saving ventilator.

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As well as the ventilator valve samples, the Design and Technology Department has been producing PPE face masks to help key workers on the frontline of the coronavirus battle.

Mr Duggan, Teacher of Design Technology, said: “It was very clear from the start of the crisis that the NHS and others would need vital supplies.

“I saw an article about how Italian engineering students and doctors had devised a way of converting a full-face swim mask into a life-saving ventilator. The 3D Printing file for the ‘Charlotte Valve’ was made available for anyone to use, so Mr Gibirdi, our Design Technology Technician, and I decided to use the school’s 3D Printers to produce some of these valves.

“We took them home so we would have longer to work on them, and each produced some valves as per the Italian design. We delivered some samples to the Deputy Procurement Director via Royal Preston Hospital for approval and are waiting for the go ahead to produce some more.”

Charlotte Valve samples produced by Archbishop staff
Charlotte Valve samples produced by Archbishop staff

In the meantime, staff including Technology teachers Mrs Gornall and Mr Carter are producing PPE face masks for local care homes and pharmacy staff, as well as the NHS.

Read more: BAE Systems is manufacturing face shields to help the NHS workers on the front line

Mr Duggan said: “The Design and Technology Department has been assembling masks, but as we increase production we will need to involve pupils who are currently attending school.

“As it seems many schools are producing face masks, all wanting to do their bit for those on the front line, there is now a shortage of some materials. We have obtained enough polypropylene to produce 800 headbands on our laser, but we are in need of A4 photocopier film/acetate/OHP transparency film for the visors.

“The school has supplied care homes in Fulwood and Lostock Hall, with a request from another in Clayton Green. We also aim to deliver some very soon to Royal Preston Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit through a colleague’s wife, who is a nurse on the ward. Doing whatever we can to help seems only right.”

Read more: Plumbs swaps sofa covers for scrubs to help protect frontline NHS staff

Mr Duggan said pupils have also been assisting with production.

“Two pupils contacted school. Harry, in year 10, wanted to find out more about the 3D printing files and set-up we were using so that he could make some himself with his own 3D printer. Jamie, another pupil in year 10, said he had been working with his mother at a school in Blackpool producing hundreds of face visors for various hospitals, community nurse teams, hospices and care homes.”

At the end of March, Archbishop Temple School’s Science Department donated eye protection equipment to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for use at Royal Preston Hospital.

Read more: Preston schools unite to donate PPE to Royal Preston Hospital

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What do you think about Archbishop using their 3D printers to help during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments.

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