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Photonics researcher and Southampton makerspace 3D printing thousands of COVID-19 face shields

Published: 5 May 2020

A postdoctoral researcher from the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics is helping produce thousands of face shields for health and care workers in Hampshire through a growing community-based makerspace.

The So Make It non-profit group is 3D printing over 400 face shields a day and has supplied over 3,000 items to Southampton General Hospital, the Royal South Hants Hospital and local care homes.

Volunteers are aiming to print, assemble and distribute over 8,500 face shields to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and are currently half way to a fundraising target on a Just Giving campaign.

Dr Kerrianne Harrington, part of the Zepler Institute's Airguide Photonics programme, is working with the community group and its fleet of 3D printers, two of which were loaned to them by the University.

"We are flying through our supplies and demand increasing all the time," she says. "Our small team of volunteers have transformed So Make It into a successful print farm for emergency personal protective equipment."

Professor David Richardson, Deputy Director of the Zepler Institute and Principal investigator Airguide Photonics, says: "It's fantastic to see one of our early career researchers supporting frontline staff with such energy and enthusiasm."

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