St John’s Marlborough Design & Technology teacher Gary England is coordinating the production of items to support the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis. The link came about as Mr England has a friend in management in the Royal United Hospitals Bath Anaesthetics, Critical Care and ITU department, who told him about items they were in desperate need of.

He explains, “I saw a design online by the company who make two of our 3D printers, Prusa, and how others across the world are making the face masks that include a 3D printed top and bottom section along with a clear face screen and some elastic. I ordered the clear materials and elastic online (though elastic is single use and has to be replaced as it can harbour the virus) and am now manufacturing them having taken one of the printers home.”

Geoff Brickell from Marlborough Area Development Trust (MADT) is also supporting the project, having donated the 3D printers to St John’s and running the school’s Digital Makers club. He is producing 3D printed parts at home too which Gary is collecting and assembling. Geoff commented, “The prototype face shields are being reviewed at the RUH today; we are continuing to make them whilst we wait to hear.”

Another item that has been identified in Manchester is textile pull-string bags for NHS staff, so they can place their clothes inside and wash the whole lot in the washing machine together, to stop the likelihood of spreading any germs. Several other willing volunteers from the D&T department at St John’s Marlborough and John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford have started production.

Follow our progress on Twitter: @StJohnsMarlb and @StJohnsSTEM1