Sailors and dockyard workers in Plymouth are working around the clock to meet the unprecedented demand for face masks from the NHS, according to the Royal Navy.

They have joined a city-wide effort involving the university, colleges, Plymouth Science Park and individual tech enthusiasts, harnessing 3D printing technology to produce components for face shields, say the Royal Navy in a news release.

“Specialist workshops with 3D printers in Devonport Dockyard are running 24/7 to produce the vitally-needed protective equipment as part of the military response to the pandemic. The Royal Naval Reserve maintains a transportable workshop with three 3D printers which were introduced last year and are designed to support the Fleet’s operations around the globe.

For the past fortnight, engineers Chief Petty Officer Gareth Chilcott and Leading Engineering Technician Ben ‘Axel’ Foley – who work in the dockyard for defence firm Babcock Marine by day and volunteer as reservists with Plymouth unit HMS Vivid – have been producing face visor headbands for the masks.”

“This is a critical time for the country as a whole, and for the NHS in particular. Together the consortium have been able to react quickly, using our experience to deliver innovative solutions, and we’re delighted to be able to work with the community to support the NHS to save lives,” said Mike Homer, Babcock Managing Director at Devonport, in a news release.

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Let’s hope we can manufacture al NHS protective gear here in the uk again after this mess

Mark B

Is producing multiple use, easily disinfected, robust, quality kit which doesn’t make the patient think they have been kidnapped by Martians really that difficult to produce.

Barry Larking

Well done! Congratulations to all concerned!