An A-level student and two former pupils have turned their school into a factory to produce protective equipment to help the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis.
The trio are using 3D printers from their classroom to make face-visors for A&E workers and other health staff.
They are providing the equipment for free and using crowdfunding to pay for the raw materials and delivery costs with orders coming in thick and fast.
George Dzavaryan, 22, technical director at Augment Bionics and former pupil at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, west London, had the idea when he realised there was a shortage of protective equipment, and the capability to make it on 3D printers at his old school.
He recruited his bother Alex, who is an A-level student at the City of London School.
They were joined by another former pupil from Latymer Upper School, Finlay White, 19, an engineering student at Newcastle University, who answered an advert on social media.
They started work on Monday and have already created and delivered 90 visors to a hospital in Wales and have orders for 500 units from GP surgeries and hospitals in London, Liverpool and parts of Scotland.
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George said: “The orders we have are in the total of 500, and this is only our fourth day going.
“That probably puts us well into next week and maybe a third week of production. We are hoping that larger companies, big manufacturer faculties in the UK can start manufacturing these in the thousands and tens of thousands.
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“But while they’re setting up their workshops, we are trying to plug the gap and the need of PPE.”
George said he makes clear that they are not a medical devices company.
Alex added: “Normally I’d be studying, but I think this has taken my mind of it, helping me cope with it at least.
“It feels quite good because otherwise I’d just be sitting at home doing nothing, like mostly everyone else.
“But here I’m actually doing something, I’m helpful to the community. I’m helping doctors out and it’s actually quite fun as well. It’s tiring though.”
Engineering student Finlay said: “I heard about the project through social media. I messaged the teachers involved and asked if they needed any help.
“I was twiddling my thumbs and needed to find something to do. It’s been good to feel useful and to do something productive.”
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Sky News went with Finlay on a delivery from the classroom in Latymer Upper School to Heathbridge surgery in Putney.
Trying on the kit, Dr Thomas Koczain said the visors made him feel much more protected.
He said: “Beforehand you just have the face mask which covers your nose and your mouth. But you still feel quite vulnerable with it, especially if you’re in the middle of a procedure or doing chest compressions.
“You’re so much more protected, (with the visor) including the eyes and the rest of the face. Anything we can do to maximise our protection, will ultimately lead to more protection for our patients and being there for them.”
SOURCE : https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-doctors-hail-students-making-covid-19-face-visors-in-makeshift-factory-11967760