Although the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have ended in the minds of most people, medical services around the world are far from suspending anti-crisis operations. NHS (National Health Service) commissioned 30 companies to produce 1.65 billion pieces of protective equipment that will be provided to health care workers. This is one of the elements of the preparation of the UK Government for the expected second wave of pandemics that is expected for this autumn. One of the companies that won the contract with NHS is Photocentric – a manufacturer of large format 3D printers printing from light-cured resins, Liquid Crystal.
Photocentric was tasked with producing 7.6 million protective face shields in the next six months. The first delivery took place two weeks ago, on Saturday, May 30 – the shields are already used to protect health workers on the front line of the fight against coronavirus.
To cope with such a large order, Photocentric completely reorganized its production at its headquarters in Peterborough. From a 3D printer manufacturer, it transformed into a 3D printing company currently numbering over 30 large-format printing devices using light-curing resins 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 3D printing farm was based on 3D Magna printers, which allows for the production of 135 shield elements on one 3D printer per hour.
Currently Photocentric produces 15,000 helmet components daily, with plans to scale it to 500,000 pieces per day. The machinery park is to be expanded to more than 100 devices, and more than 60 new employees will find additional employment.