Student creates face shields in spare bedroom for NHS workers
Taylor Overton-Barrett’s team has already made and donated hundreds of free masks to care homes, GPs, pharmacies, medical centres, paramedics and nurses.
The third-year LBU student found a design online for protective masks and created his first full-face plastic visor using a 3D printer in his spare bedroom at home last week during lockdown.
After posting a photo wearing his mask on Facebook, he received a message from a nurse asking for one before subsequent orders started to flood in. Taylor then recruited several people who had offered to donate materials and help print the masks after spotting his post on Facebook.
He is now managing a team of around 50 people across Yorkshire, made up of printers, suppliers, and coordinators.
So far, Taylor and his team have donated and delivered around 320 masks - which each take around an hour-and-a-half to make – to NHS services and local firms in four days.
Taylor, a Product Design student from Leeds School of Arts, said:
“Our NHS and key workers are putting their lives at risk by going to work at this time of crisis and I want to be able to give something back.
“It’s been an honour to be able to produce these masks and to have nice feedback, it really does feel like we are making just a small difference in our tight community.
“I thought I’d make about 20 or 30 and it would end there, but then the order of hundreds started coming in and it just grew from there. We are now producing up to 60 a day.”
The face masks are made up of three components; a plastic 3D printed visor with an acetate sheet and elastic backstrap, with materials acquired through donations from packaging companies and fundraising.
Leeds Beckett University Vice Chancellor Peter Slee said:
“We are extremely proud of Taylor and his efforts to help slow the progress of the virus and to mitigate its impact during this national health emergency.
“Taylor’s 3D printing facemask initiative is an inspiring example of the innovative ways that students are using their skills to make unique contributions at this most challenging of times, providing much needed resources for heroic local NHS workers.”
The team is producing up to 60 masks a day but currently has a backlog of 500 orders, with the demand only growing.
They are currently fundraising in order to increase mask production. To donate, visit the project justgiving page.