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Using aerospace connections to help the NHS

The ATI's Nour Eid used his connection with the MTC to help Peterborough City Hospital secure new visors for NHS frontline staff.

By ATI Comms

18 May 2020 04:00:PM
Read time: 3 mins

Among the many examples of how companies and industries are pulling together to help the Covid-19 response, such as VentilatorChallengeUK, are stories of how personal connections and networks are delivering help to where it is needed. One such comes from Nour Eid, Technologist at the ATI. Nour's childhood friend, Dr Heba Ibrahim, works at Peterborough City Hospital; Heba asked Nour if his knowledge of the additive manufacturing (AM, aka 3D printing) sector could help the hospital secure more visors for frontline workers to use when treating Covid-19 patients.

Nour was able to put Heba in touch with Dave Wimpenny, Chief Technologist at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). The MTC was indeed able to help; the centre has a large bank of polymer AM machines that were being redeployed to make visors. The MTC design used conventional foam with a transparent sheet and elastic strip - simple but effective, and with a target production rate of around 1,000 per day.

With the connection made, the MTC was able to provide new visors for the hospital - completely free of charge. The most recent consignment (pictured, with Dr Ibrahim on the left) brought the total so far to 5,000 units, providing life-saving protection to NHS workers who are delivering critical care.

"We have seen several examples during the pandemic of how AM can make new products that have been designed in just a few short weeks, showcasing its versatility and effectiveness. I am really thankful that Dave and the MTC team were able to help Heba and her colleagues at the hospital, and I'm proud to have played a small part in connecting the capability with the need".