Chichester College lecturer makes visors for NHS staff short on PPE

A lecturer at Chichester College has used a 3D printer to create 50 full face visors to help protect NHS workers on the front line of the pandemic.

Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 4:48 pm
Rik Tooley from Chichester College models one of the visors
Rik Tooley from Chichester College models one of the visors

Rik Tooley, deputy head of learning for Engineering, Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle, sprang into action after hearing about the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS staff – especially at GP surgeries in his local area.

Between looking after his two children and teaching his students remotely, he put the college’s 3D printers to good use to create around 50 visors, which have already been donated to four doctors’ surgeries in the Midhurst, Petworth, Loxwood and Pulborough areas.

Mr Tooley said: “My wife is a GP and I knew that GPs – both at her practice and others locally – have very limited PPE.

The full face visors created by Mr Tooley

“I had taken home two 3D printers when the college campus closed, with the intention of being able to support students by printing their projects, so I just thought I’d give it a go and that’s how it started.

“I’ve been running 3D prints 24 hour a day, refining the pieces, and then spent the weekend putting the visors together.

“We delivered around 50 to four local practices this week.

“The first batch was really well received, and I’m hoping to keep producing more for our local NHS services.

“It’s been a labour of love for me really, I just wanted to do what I could to help at this time – while also balancing that with my family and with supporting my students.”

Mr Tooley has now teamed up with a colleague to explore how they can help to reach more people, and are looking to join forces with volunteer group 3DCrowd UK.

Other members of the college’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths department have also been giving up their time to produce PPE equipment, with one busily making scrubs for NHS workers to wear.

Shelagh Legrave, chief executive officer at the Chichester College Group, said of Mr Tooley and his colleagues: “They have shown great determination and dedication to helping to support our fantastic NHS staff in West Sussex.

“Never has it been more important to support this vital service, as it works hard to battle the Coronavirus pandemic.

“It is times like this that we must come together to support them as best we can, while they are on the frontline.”

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