Local: UK

Alternative supplies for protective personal equipment

Another strategy that have been widely applied, on a local level, haven been seeking alternative manufacturing solutions for personal protective equipment. The goal for this strategy has been to secure a sufficient source for PPE, that would allow for a quick supply that did not demand global transportation and could be produced within a short period of time.

Several local governments and healthcare institutions allied with local builders, designers, engineers, manufactures or universities who could produces even small PPE equipment, ex face Masks, Gowns, Scrubs, hand sanitizer and Body Bags. In the United Kingdom the University of Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Manchester got together with the Northern Care Alliance (NCA) consisting of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. The three universities used 3D printing technology to manufacture face shields. Together they developed, tested and clinically signed off the material to be produces by a local manufacture in Huddersfield. The NCA also made a partnership with the Manchester Fashion Institute (MFI) to develop and test Gowns and Scrubs for medical use. Once approved the design was handed over to a local manufacture who established a regional and national supply chain with manufacturing and distribution[1].

In early March Region Zealand, one of Denmark’s five regions with the responsibility of running the regions hospitals, got in contact with a group of 500 local 3D printing enthusiast. The group had gotten together through social media and shared a design print for 3D printed face-shields. Region Zealand quickly made an agreement with the group to produce visors for the hospital’s healthcare personal. A solution that could help with the acute shortage of PPE.[2].


Image: Left: Designs for Gowns and Scrubs for medical use. Right: 3D printed face shields.


[1] Northern Care Alliance 2020, 3D Printing Technology to Manufacture Hospital Equipment. Northern Care Alliance - 3D Printing technology to manufacture hospital equipment (northerncarealliancegde.nhs.uk)

[2] TV2 Lorry 2020, Ciesow, K. L., Frivillige printer 3D-værnemidler i kampen mod corona. Frivillige printer 3D-værnemidler i kampen mod corona | TV 2 Lorry