Seven staff members at St Christopher’s School Bahrain, which is currently closed, are taking it in turns to use 3D printers in the design technology laboratory to create about 20 PVC visors a day.
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“Last Friday morning, I received a message from our admission officer, Jo Atkinson, regarding an article she had read about the production of 3D-printed face shields in New York,” Nick Wilson, head of senior school, tells The National. “Through our medical contacts, we quickly realised that there was a shortage of these for health workers and, by 2pm that afternoon, our prototypes were being made.”
are leading a team of four more teachers and a technician in this new project. In order to adhere to the island’s strict social distancing regulations, staff members rotate every four hours, as it takes that long to make two visors.
The team initially downloaded three different STL files using computer-aided design (CAD) software that were created in the UK and US, adapting those to suit the materials they have access to.
Following British health and safety guidelines, three variant prototypes were produced and then tested by a local doctor, who chose the final, most suitable design. These were checked with N95 respirator masks underneath to make sure the fittings are correct.
“We’re also making sure to send enough so that they can be changed regularly and the ABS material we use can be wiped down and disinfected, and the visor can be clicked into place,” Ms Chadwick explains. “They are then sanitising them at the hospital as well.”
Around the world, schools and institutions are coming together to produce visors and other face shields for frontline workers. In the UK, schools have been asked to donate science goggles and other gear to the NHS due to a shortage of protective equipment for doctors dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Britain’s The Royal Mint, which usually produces coins and medals, is also using its engineers to manufacture up to 4,000 visors a day to be used by health workers.
The Bahrain team began working on their own project on Sunday, March 29 and they have already produced more than 50 visors. The first batch was delivered to Bahrain Defence Force Royal Medical Services Hospital and Awali Cardiac Centre on Monday, and were immediately put to use by the medical team, who have been “very impressed with the quality”, a statement from the school states.
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