How did WSP use 3D printers to support NHS staff and public services?

Employees from across WSP’s UK business have been maximising their free time to support public sector services, using 3D printers to deliver essential PPE for the NHS...

Employees from WSP, the engineering professional services consultancy, have found alternative ways to use 3D printing to develop protective face masks, as individuals from across the UK business devise innovative ways to support public health services and the communities they serve.

WSP face masks used by the NHS - Meryl and Denzel

3D printers, Meryl and Denzel, hard at work after 18 hours of printing!

From London to Manchester and Essex to Yorkshire, WSP employees have voluntarily joined different collaborations to design, manufacture and deliver Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to public sector services. This has involved communicating with a number of clients to locate and direct hauliers containing equipment to NHS teams, as well as sourcing the necessary technology to produce the equipment being distributed, such as face masks.

Peter Townsend, BIM Model Manager at WSP, is producing face masks using 3D printers to contribute around 500 face masks to the cause that are already being sent to the NHS. Peter said: “Knowing that there was a demand for essential supplies and being in a fortunate position to have the equipment solution at hand, as engineers, it is in our DNA to help in times of need which is why I didn’t hesitate to offer my support, however small. Meryl and Denzel (the printer’s names) are more than happy to help, too, even if it does mean an 18 hour day for them!” 

WSP face masks used by the NHS - First batch

Peter, Townsend, BIM Model Manager at WSP showcases his first batch

Peter explains that there needs to be stringent procedures in place in how these items are packaged. Each batch of masks need to be sealed in an airtight bag and labelled carefully with print date, material and the printer’s contact details, so that they are ready for distribution.

Tim Neobard, Project Controls Manager in WSP’s Rail, has maximised his time outside of work and is using lasers to manufacture face masks, as part of a collaboration with the East Essex community workshop, Hackspace. This method allows for a production of 400-600 face masks in in 2-3 hours in support of the NHS’s 345,000-unit requirements.

WSP face masks used by the NHS - Tim Neobard

Tim Neobard, Project Controls Manager at WSP models a test mask

Other members of staff are similarly showing their support to communities, businesses and services, either outside of their normal working hours or electing to use designated volunteer days which WSP offers employees as part of its annual Employee Volunteering Scheme.

WSP face masks used by the NHS

NHS staff in Essex wearing the masks by WSP

WSP would like to thank all of the frontline staff that are doing a fantastic job in protecting the UK during this time. We are thrilled to be able to support in ways that we can.

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