A South Wales software development expert has joined forces with a furloughed pilot to get a potentially lifesaving project off the ground.
Richard Blackwell of Tiger Bay productions has been working with temporarily grounded Flybe pilot Josef Mauris to 3D manufacture visor face-shields and using a friends’ network of about 40 people to make, assemble and distribute they have about 2,500 in stock.
Using crowd-funding to buy the raw materials for the 3D printers they plan to ramp up production from the original 500 a week using 15 printers to thousands a week as more printers join the production.
Richard, Josef and colleague Scott Dewey, also from South Wales, who normally works in the film and tv industry, have been freely working around the clock to design, manufacture and organise the visors’ distribution through their friends’ network.
“It’s been amazing how everyone has pitched in with offers of help,” said Richard. “Initially we were concerned about getting regulatory approval for the visors but we have overcome this with a simple disclaimer and we have been supplying hospitals and care homes with them and they need many more.”
Crowd-funding has raised £8,000 so far but now they are looking for £20,000 to rapidly boost production to thousands a week.
“The visors are free to NHS and care homes, anyone in the front line, and we are so grateful to the public for their support. We are completely against anyone profiting from this situation and we just want to do it for the people who are in the front line and to help those who are being treated.”
Scott added, “We have made a really positive start to get some of the visors out to where they are needed but we need to reach more areas and the more funding we can get will enable us to save as many lives as we can.”
You can get more information on the PPE equipment by logging into Facebook and joining group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/862521740839700/