Bodmin College using 3D printers to make PPE for NHS workers during Pandemic

Bodmin College has joined forces with schools and organisations across Cornwall to produce vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line NHS workers at Treliske Hospital.

Mark Talbot, Course Leader of Digital Media at Bodmin College, is leading the school’s involvement, working with Volunteer Cornwall, Cornwall Council and the Cornwall Association of Secondary Teachers in a combined county effort to support the hospital during the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Talbot commented, “It has become very apparent over the last couple of weeks that NHS workers across the country are facing shortages in protective kit which puts them at risk whilst simply doing their job and helping those in need. Richard Lander School first drew our attention to the project and discussed the idea of producing PPE including face shields and other products using 3D printers in schools, it was very obvious that there was a real desire to help out across Cornwall.” 

Bodmin’s Digital Media department is working with Frazer Underwood from NHS Treliske and Alan McLeod from Healthcare Innovations.

“We are in full production mode with our 3D printer creating a broad range of products PPE for use by front-line workers – it’s all hands on deck with colleagues volunteering their own time to help between their remote teaching lessons with students” commented Mr Talbot. “We feel incredibly proud to be working together with schools across Cornwall to help NHS staff stay safe and healthy at this time of national emergency.”

Alan McLeod has kindly supplied the PETG filaments for the 3D printer.

“Schools and organisations across Cornwall have come together in this coordinated approach to help our front-line workers” continued Mr Talbot. “This is another example of the amazing response we’ve seen from our Cornish community during these challenging times to keep key workers safe.”

Bodmin College is using Creality 3D printers, typically used within the art and digital media departments for students to use as part of their course.

Sam Lanyon, who is leading the Co-Visor project, commented, “In total, we hope to be making 1000+ visors a day which should mean that as a group, by the end of this week, visor need will be met here in Cornwall – something we should all feel incredibly proud of! Such a fantastic community effort.”

“We never expected that our printers would need to play such an essential role but it’s incredible to be playing our part in fighting COVID-19.” The school is hoping to continue to produce masks as long as there is a need. “We will continue to help for as long as we can. It’s a privilege to support Treliske Hospital.”

Bodmin College staff have also stepped forward to support with ‘Cornwall Scrubs’ – a group of volunteers who are making scrubs for hospitals, GPs and carers in the county and beyond. Headteacher at Bodmin College, Emmie Seward-Adams, added, “It’s so important to help our amazing healthcare providers get through this unprecedented and stressful time. We are proud to be joining scores of volunteers, businesses and schools across the country helping to support. We are all in this together.”