Volkswagen and Lamborghini recently revealed that they have begun the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is joining the fray, as it also announces it will start 3D-printing face shields in its facility in Gaydon.
These face shields will be built at JLR’s rapid prototype 3D-printing facility, one of the most advanced in Europe. The company will produce 1,300 face shields a week, which will help address the shortage of PPE for the staff of the National Health Service (NHS).
“It’s been a real team effort, we’ve trialed different materials and improved the design over several iterations in consultation with real doctors and nurses on the frontline—this has allowed us to create something unique and truly fit-for-purpose,” said JLR additive manufacturing and prototype design manager Ben Wilson. “While this is a small effort, it is vital we help as many people as we can by utilizing our resources. Collaborative teams working at Jaguar Land Rover, along with the wider computer-aided design and 3D printing community will continue to do what we can to help healthcare workers.”
JLR aims to eventually produce 5,000 shields weekly to distribute to all NHS trusts across England. The carmaker is working with other companies such as Pro2Pro in Telford and is also in talks with its suppliers and partners to mass-produce the equipment.
These face shields are built using chemically resistant polycarbonate. JLR has ensured that the shields are comfortable to wear and reusable. The shields can easily be dismantled for cleaning and reuse.
“The health and safety of our employees, customers, and their families remain our priority. It’s important we all utilize our skills, expertise, and facilities to help protect NHS staff on the frontline during our country’s greatest crisis in a generation. We can all play a part in helping those who need it most,” said JLR chief medical officer Dr. Steve Iley.
If you want to read more on other carmakers’ efforts, as well as our other stories on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, click here.