Men’s shed producing hundreds of face shields to protect front-line workers

Kinross Shedder Rev Tim Power and his family making face shields at home.Kinross Shedder Rev Tim Power and his family making face shields at home.
Kinross Shedder Rev Tim Power and his family making face shields at home. | Other 3rd Party
A Men’s Shed is producing face shields to protect key workers on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kinross and District Men’s Shed (KDMS) is using 3D printers to make the Polylactic Acid (PLA) face shields and requests are coming in at a tremendous rate from the community.

David Connor, KDMS chairman, said: “KDMS wanted to help and one of our shedders, Jim Forbes, started working in his shed at home to come up with a solution to meet the demand for this life-saving protective equipment.

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“The shedders have really stepped up and there is a team of around 12 to 15 of us involved. More and more shedders are becoming involved each day to lend a helping hand to this cause.”

Orders are coming in thick and fast from NHS workers, carers, testing hubs, postal workers and shop workers across Fife, Ayrshire, Perthshire, Forth Valley and Clackmannanshire.

The group have fulfilled more than 100 orders so far and now have an order for 100 more.

Jim Forbes added: “This 3D printed version needs no tools to assemble except for a pair of scissors to trim the face plate. For shedders with no access to a 3D printer, we also developed a second product where no tools are required other than scissors.

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“Every single item is checked and the shield comes with an instruction leaflet for the end user. We initially had our one Shed 3D printer and my machine, but now Culture Perth & Kinross has dedicated their five printers, bringing us up to seven solely dedicated to this task.

“A local lady in Powmill who has been printing hundreds of shields has also bought herself another one and offered that second printer to help us if she has any free space. We are now able to produce 40 to 50 shields per day.

“When it comes to delivery, there is obviously no contact. The order is simply placed in our gardens when we are notified that the person is on their way to collect.”

Shedders have been creating the products at home but are running low on supplies and have set up a Go Fund Me page to pay for much-needed supplies. The Shed has already raised over £2000 towards materials to date.

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KDMS has created assembly instructions, spreadsheets, instruction leaflet and 3D Printer files (STL files and G-codes) that it is happy to share with other sheds interested in becoming involved to help with their orders or wishing to replicate the model.

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