Efforts by a Mansfield District Council officer to make hundreds of PPE visors have been boosted by a £500 grant from the Mayor's 500 Fund.
The money has been used by Daniel Clover, of the council's Design Services team, to buy a second 3D printer which has allowed him to double production of the visors he has been making for frontline workers during the Covid-19 national emergency.
Among those who have benefited so far are local NHS medical staff, NHS community carers, a nursing home, learning disability support workers and Nottinghamshire Police.
Dan, 34, a Quantity Surveyor from Mansfield Woodhouse, plans to donate the printer to a school once it is no longer needed to make PPE.
He said: "I am so grateful to the Mayor for the money. It will enable me to dramatically increase production of the visors.
"Together with a group of other 3D printer owners, we have managed to make 1,000 visors so far but have orders for another 700. We plan to carry on printing while there is a need."
Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: "I was only too glad to help Dan's fantastic work. It's critically important everything possible is done to help get this vital PPE to all those medical staff, carers and workers on the frontline. It helps save lives."
Dan has been joined in his mission by 16 local 3D printer owners, including council colleague Paul Charlton, a Architectural Technician, in the Design Services team.
"I admin a Facebook group '3D Printing during COVID 19 Outbreak'," said Dan. "The purpose of the group is to help pool our resources and complete as many orders as possible. Paul was toying with the idea of getting a 3D printer before the Covid-19 outbreak. Since seeing the efforts of others in the group with 3D printers, he decided to purchase his own and help."
Dan bought his 3D printer a couple of months ago as part of a personal venture to create a prototype for an invention he has designed and is seeking to patent around preventing misfuelling at petrol stations. That project has now been put on hold to help with the coronavirus effort.
He has also collaborated with staff at Vision West Notts College and teachers at Samworth Academy in Mansfield who have been using the college's and school’s 3D printers to make visors, too.
Among the group's other local members are Trudi Dean, of West Notts College; Stuart Harper, a Digital apprentice at West Notts College, and hobbyists Jimmy Sutton, Andrew Cullington, Neil Randle, Karl Sparham, Paul Mosley, Ian Taylor, Tim Fisher and Jack lowater. They came to be involved through the "Mansfield, Nottinghamshire Coronavirus (Covid – 19) Mutual Aid" Facebook group.
"I initially joined Trudi after she put a post on there and it grew from there," said Dan. "Trudi and I discussed setting up a gofundme page to help the others out with materials etc. It has raised almost £2,000 to date which is helping covering the cost of materials and purchased a couple more printers to help us print as many as possible. The printers purchased from this money will also be donated to local schools at the end of all this.
"The team is all working extremely hard to make this PPE. I’m proud to be part of it though we are all looking forward to having a pint when it is all over."
Each visor takes about 90 minutes to print and costs 70 pence to £1 to make. To donate towards the cost of making them see https://www.gofundme.com/f/3d-printing-during-covid-19-outbreak (link opens in new window).
If anyone requires visors please contact Dan via the Mansfield, Nottinghamshire Coronavirus (Covid-19) Mutual Aid Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/599614573923370/ (link opens in new window).