20th April 2020 — Two members of Bancroft's School's DT Department have spent their Easter holidays making much needed visors for frontline NHS staff in the area local to the Woodford Green School. Hospitals to benefit have included Whipps Cross, the Royal London and Harlow's Princess Alexandra. In addition, visors have been provided for local pharmacies, GP practices, opticians and midwives.
Marc Rogers, Head of D & T at Bancroft's, originally saw a suggestion that anyone with manufacturing capability (3D printers, laser cutters etc.) could help in the production of PPE for the NHS. Further messages suggested that it might be possible for D & T departments within schools to use machines which were necessarily idle during school closures to help. Marc decided to put his skill, and that of David Fernandez (D & T Technician) together with Bancroft’s equipment to good use. “I found prototypes of the various components online and decided to build the Prusa MK 3 developed by the 3D printing company Prusa. Each 3D printed frame takes 1.5 hours to complete, so to make best use of time we set the 3D printing in stacks of four overnight. The visors can then be constructed the next morning.” Once the frames have been printed, the rest of the job is pretty swift: cutting the visor shield takes seconds and assembling them a couple of minutes. It is necessary to wear masks and gloves to keep manufacturing as clean and germ-free as possible. Following construction, the visors are placed in sealed bags for three days (to avoid any virus being passed on). The visors are picked up and delivered directly to local NHS points of need.
Following Facebook posts and Tweets regarding the production, many members of the wider school community have been in touch offering to help with materials. Bancroft's has been overwhelmed by the generosity of parents, alumni and friends in sending in supplies to help the production. They have also received many requests - often through social media - for supplies of visors for workers and Mr Rogers and Fernandez have been working hard to keep up with the demand. By Thursday 17 April, they had made their 1000th visor.