Brixton college’s 3D printers aid NHS visor scheme

SBEUTC assistant vice principal David Bell with a completed visor and one of the college’s 3D printers
SBEUTC assistant vice principal David Bell with a completed visor and one of the college’s 3D printers

Brixton’s South Bank Engineering University Technical College is using its 3D printers as part of a collective effort by engineering UTCs and others around the country to provide the NHS with frames for protective visors.

Now closed, the college has stocks of PTE-G and PTA plastics, the two materials the NHS has approved for use as visor frames, so is well positioned to assist.

Its Ultimaker 3D printers are producing replicas of the approved design which was shared by Prusa (a Czech-based open-source 3D printer manufacturer).

The national scheme is run by a group on 3D Crowd UK as reported by the BBC. Some 16,704 3D prints were made by the group over the weekend. It has a fundraiser to pay for materials and transport.

“We usually use our 3D printers to run BTEC units on additive manufacture and for design prototyping,” said the college’s assistant vice principal David Bell. “We are now putting these to use for the NHS national effort.

An Ultimaker 3D printer and the visor frame it is producing
An Ultimaker 3D printer and the visor frame it is producing in Brixton

“We intend to send our frames to the distribution centre in Sheffield where they are fitted with the clear visor and then sent on to hospitals.

“Our machines were sat idle so we have dived right in to produce these to assist front line workers against COVID-19.”

The college, which opened on Brixton Hill in 2016, focuses on technical and practical education, specialising in engineering and health. It has a capacity of 600 pupils.

Two of its industry partners are local hospital trusts King’s College, and Guy’s & St Thomas’.

Its curriculum has been created with industry partners to ensure students get real-world experience and skills to prepare them for future employment.

Applications for Year 10 and Year 12 places for September this year are still open.

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