Mersey lecturer uses 3D printer to produce vital PPE

Kevin Donnelly, an engineering lecturer at Hugh Baird University Centre in Bootle, produced more than 100 disposable face masks for  local pharmacies and hospitals

Knowsley Resource Centre
Staff at Knowsley Resource Centre at Whiston Hospital wearing Kevin’s masks


A lecturer at Hugh Baird University Centre, part of Bootle’s Hugh Baird College, has beeb doing his bit to address the demand for personal protection equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kevin Donnelly, an engineering lecturer at the centre, used the college’s 3D printer to make more than 100 disposable face masks. He then distributed them to local pharmacies and hospitals.

Some of Kevin’s Engineering students have also been able to get involved by providing assistance in the design process for the visors using computer-aided design. He said: “There was discussions about how the College and University Centre could do their part to help the NHS with the current pandemic with the equipment we have available.

“It became apparent that we could assist in making visors for NHS staff, which they are in desperate need of, so I was more than happy to help. Given the circumstances with social distancing students were unable to assist in the physical printing of the visors but it was great to have them involved in the design process.

“It has been a pleasure to be part of this and has been good to give back to our NHS and to help in protecting the NHS staff who are doing a truly amazing job during this pandemic.”

Kevin initially made 25 visors which were trialled at local pharmacies, GP surgeries and at the Knowsley Resource Centre based at Whiston Hospital. Tina Blease, a health and social care lecturer at the college, who is currently working at the Knowsley Resource Centre during the Coronavirus pandemic, took part in the trial.

She added: “The masks are fantastic quality and fit well on all of our staff as the headband is fully adjustable. This ensures they are well fitted and provide a good level of protection while we attend to the needs of our patients.

“The masks allow some of our expressions to be visible to our patients and due to their dementia diagnosis this supports reassurance and allows us to engage with them positively whilst protecting ourselves from COVID-19.”

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