Rebekah Valero-Lee covid-19
Teams at the Morson Engine Room and Maker Space have recently developed a prototype medical visor using 3D printing in direct response to the needs of hospital staff fighting Coronavirus. The state-of-the art engineering and digital fabrication facility is funded by the Morson Group and is based at The University of Salford.
Following initial testing, the team have now been tasked with producing 75 visors a day, donating the products to Salford Royal Foundation Trust.
Developed using the open-source Prusa design in partnership with Salford Royal Hospital, the visor aims to be 90 per cent sterilisable. Following approval, the design will now be sent out to commercial fabricators and other university technical departments in the North West to scale production and meet the numbers needed for NHS frontline staff across the UK.
The Morson Engine Room and Maker Space was established in 2019, with the ambition of collaboration between the University of Salford and local businesses to innovate and test ideas, with an opportunity to meet and work on real industry briefs.
Featuring a ‘Print Hive’, the Morson Engine Room and Maker Space is kitted out with dedicated 3D printing machines comprising a range of Ultimate S5, 3 and 2+ machines, a Markforged composite printer, Markforged Metal X, and a high-resolution SLA resin Formlabs printer. Other equipment includes laser and vinyl cutters and space for assembling electronics, with a dedicated CAD Studio for 3D design classes.
Dr Maria Stukoff, director of the Maker Space, said:
“I can't emphasis enough how proud I am of the team at our facility who reopened our Print Hive to 3D make PPE visors and now form part of the efforts around the country to support front line workers in the NHS.
“I commend their drive and goodwill in this current health crisis, and it is a testament to their maker commitment to support the community and local partners when it counts most. We are glad to be able to play a role in the global fight against this pandemic and are grateful of the equipment and facilities within our space that have enabled our team to achieve this.”
Ged Mason, CEO of the Morson Group, said:
“There is a nationwide, collective response to do what we can to fight this pandemic. When we launched the Morson Engine Room and Maker Space, it was with this exact aim in mind; to provide the equipment required to enable students to respond and react to real life challenges which can be overcome using technology.
“The way the technical team at the facility has gone above and beyond to create these innovative visors is astounding; even when met with a global crisis, they have put other people first and used their shared talent to make a difference. If we can take one thing from the COVID-19 outbreak, it is that it is revealing humbling things about people we know and work with.”