Royston chemicals company staff are making PPE using 3D printers

One of the face shield frames for NHS staff being made by Royston-based Johnson Matthey.

One of the face shield frames for NHS staff being made by Royston-based Johnson Matthey. - Credit: Archant

A Royston-based global science and chemicals company has been making parts for personal protection equipment (PPE) to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Individuals and teams at Johnson Matthey, which has its UK headquarters in the town’s Orchard Road, have been working together to set up and safely operate 3D printing using the company’s internal printers.

JM has made its equipment and materials available to help the cause.

Local workers answered a national call and joined thousands of volunteers as part of the 3D Crowd UK initiative, which taps into people and companies with 3D printing capacity to coordinate the printing and distribution of visor parts to NHS crisis centres and local practices alike.

Each frame takes about 90 minutes to print and 3D Crowd has already produced about 100,000 units in total nationwide through a combination of 3D printing and injection moulding.

In addition to printing the frames for face visors, other items are also being printed, including straps that are worn behind the head and serve a fastening point for breathing masks to ensure the strings don’t dig into the wearer’s ears. Hands-free door handles have also been printed and distributed.

Several employees at other Johnson Matthey sites, both in the UK and internationally, have also been printing in both their private and professional capacity to provide PPE directly to their local centres.

Most Read

Jonathan McCree-Grey, one of the many volunteers throughout JM who is contributing to the initiative said: “It’s great to see 3D printing used in this way to help the NHS. We know many other individuals have been doing printing at home in a similar way.

“It’s wonderful that we’ve all collectively been able to do what we can to help the health service. We plan to continue doing this for as long as it’s needed.”

Process engineer Grant Apsey added: “JM has been immensely supportive of this initiative, donating the materials to those of us that are printing. The organisers of 3D Crowd have also done a great job of putting everything together to allow people like myself and JM to help in a organised and meaningful way.”