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Norfolk academy printing PPE gear to support NHS

PUBLISHED: 18:10 12 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:52 13 April 2020

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn using the PPE masks made by Fakenham Academy. Picture: Rebekah Smith

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn using the PPE masks made by Fakenham Academy. Picture: Rebekah Smith

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A north Norfolk school is helping to protect the NHS workers as they produce PPE masks.

Fakenham Academy is using their 3D printers to produce PPE masks for any services that need them. Picture: Richard EvansFakenham Academy is using their 3D printers to produce PPE masks for any services that need them. Picture: Richard Evans

Fakenham Academy is using their three 3D printers to produce the face guards for any services that need them.

Headteacher at the academy, Richard Evans, said: “It’s a really nice thing to be part of, people helping each other.

“I have always seen working with and being part of the community as important. We want to show the key workers working together to beat this.”

The idea came from the school’s IT technician, Neil Jary, who is a 3D printer enthusiast. Mr Jary has a friend at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn and wanted to help.

Fakenham Academy's principle Richard Evans on GCSE results day. Picture: Matthew FarmerFakenham Academy's principle Richard Evans on GCSE results day. Picture: Matthew Farmer

“As soon as he said it was possible we wanted to get it out there,” Mr Evans said.

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“3D printing is not exactly art, it is melting hot plastic together into the shape you want. But, after a few trial runs we now have the model down perfectly.”

The academy has had the printers since July last year after they were funded by local businesses in the town.

Fakenham Academy is using their 3D printers to produce PPE masks for any services that need them. Picture: Richard EvansFakenham Academy is using their 3D printers to produce PPE masks for any services that need them. Picture: Richard Evans

Mr Evans, who is still in school helping to support key workers with children, said the printers were used in tech classes for children to design and create their own phone cases.

The school downloaded a model of the mask and now are working around the clock to print as many as they can, with one mask taking around four hours to print.

While it is not the highest output of PPE, the school is prepared to accommodate anyone’s needs, having already received requests from other medical practises and a Norfolk care home.

Made completely out of recycled plastic, the guards are being sent with four plastic sheets so the frames can be reused again without fear of contamination.

Fakenham Academy is using their 3D printers to produce PPE masks for any services that need them. Picture: Richard EvansFakenham Academy is using their 3D printers to produce PPE masks for any services that need them. Picture: Richard Evans

They are making around ten masks a day and are offering them to anyone who needs them.


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