3D Design Helping the NHS
When we read the plea for help from a local hospital came through the West Cheshire College’s newsletter, we knew we just had to help.
One of our local hospitals was looking for some surgical mask straps we knew we could come up with a solution. Our factory was already closed at this point, but having carried out some research, we knew that our 3D printer which we use for prototypes and internal manufacturing jigs would be the answer. Our solution didn’t require a full team, so we set about designing a template for the straps to be made using the printer.
After a few prototypes, we refined the design and set the printer to work. Our first batch of 120 straps went out to Leighton Hospital, who were extremely happy and grateful for them which we turned around in 24 hours.
We couldn’t have predicted what happened next. Not only did Leighton Hospital want more but we were also told that the Countess Chester Hospital and Chester & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust also needed some. Through contacts and word of mouth, we were soon producing the straps for other hospitals across the country all the way down to Bedfordshire.
The problem we now had was that we soon found that our 3D printer wasn’t printing fast enough for the demand, so we knew we need to change the design.
So back to the drawing board for a second time, and with a few adjustments, we found another solution that worked. The feedback was that the new design was even better and performed the task of holding the mask straps just like before and we were able to produce more to reach demand.
We can now print around 128 in 24 hours, meaning we can help more keyworkers with th
eir face masks every day.
We’ve now lost count of how many we’ve produced and sent out across the country, but we know that each one we produce, helps someone in the medical workplace complete their job.
“We’d like to thank all the keyworkers, from NHS and care workers to the supermarket workers and mail delivery and drivers, and the many more that are helping the country through this difficult time.
Helping just one person in a time like this is a brilliant thing to be able to do! It’s just amazing that we’ve been able to make NHS staff’s days a little easier with these small pieces of plastic. Here at Altimex, we are so proud that we have come together in a time of crisis to help our country where we can.” said Davinder Lotay, Managing Director Altimex.