A GLASGOW school has enhanced its work delivering vital PPE for frontline health and care workers, with the loan of a 3D printer from Scotland’s leading copy-scan-print expert.
Staff at Kelvinside Academy are helping in the battle to contain the Coronavirus, by creating a manufacturing hub within the school producing protective face visors for NHS staff and care workers.
Now they have increased their efforts thanks to the loan of a £5000, hi-tech, 3D printer from the Glasgow showroom of Capital Document Solutions, Scotland’s biggest independent document solutions company.
Fraser Robertson from Capital Document Solutions said: “As soon as we heard about this we thought it was a brilliant idea. It makes perfect sense to have the 3D printer put to use like this, rather than sitting idle in our Glasgow showroom.
“What they are doing at Kelvinside Academy is so impressive. One of our service engineers, Mark Melvin, came along with me to install and commission the device.
“After that we just stepped back to watch the process in action. The pair of us were blown away by the production line they have set up at the school. It is inspiring to see the ingenuity and dedication involved.”
Father-of-two Fraser, 44, a former pupil of Blantyre High School who lives in Hamilton, has worked with Capital Document Solutions for 25 years and is now its Scottish Procurement Framework Manager.
He added: “From our point of view, the whole team at Capital are very proud to be helping even in a small way. What front line health and care workers is doing is humbling and we hope this can help make a positive difference.”
As well as lending the hi-tech Makerbot 3D printer, the firm also donated multiple rolls of the material used by the machine.
Director of the Innovation School, David Miller spearheaded the creation of Kelvinside Academy’s PPE manufacturing and distribution centre at its three-storey Innovation School at Kirklee. The majority of the protective masks are assembled by mounting clear acetate sheets on precision laser-cut acrylic frames, or 3D printed versions. A host of small, laser cutting and 3D printing businesses are also supporting the project.
However, some specialists – including staff working in oral and maxillofacial surgery across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – require a slightly different and more robust protective mask, which has to be 3D printed in its entirety.
Daniel Wyatt, Rector of Kelvinside Academy said: “Getting this 3D printer from Capital Document Solutions is a massive help and we can’t thank them enough. It is a real, big beast of a machine and will now be working round the clock.”
Mr Miller added: “The laser printing process takes time, but this machine will produce one visor every two and a half hours and we expect to produce hundreds over the next few weeks. Each one will go straight to a health worker on the frontline.”
Kelvinside Academy is working with staff from Caldervale High in Airdrie and Larbert High in Stenhousemuir, to produce PPE for health and care workers.
The project is now being backed by a £50,000 GoFundMe campaign launched by Glasgow cultural venue, SWG3. That campaign exceeded its £50,000 target in just three days over the Easter weekend. The fund can be supported by visiting the web page – https://www.gofundme.com/f/jyn2fe-emergency-ppe-for-the-nhs-fundraiser
Around 14 people, including staff from the three schools and furloughed staff from SWG3 are running the production line, while observing the strictest social distancing measures. On Good Friday alone, they delivered 1300 protective visors to recipients including Queen Elizabeth University Hospital emergency department and Glasgow Children’s Hospital.
The school hopes to reach a high of producing 1500 masks per day for care homes, ambulance crews and NHS staff all across Greater Glasgow, including Wishaw General Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Capital Document Solutions’ employs 200 staff across five Scottish offices. Its success is built on the fact it has more than 3000 clients across Scotland’s public and private sectors, with more than 13,000 photocopiers and other machines – known as multi-function devices (MFDs) – deployed in the field. A small number of those machines are 3D printers, mostly in the higher and further education sectors.