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Coronavirus: Stratford 3D printing firm is producing personal protective kit for the NHS

PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:12 20 April 2020

Personal protective equipment destined for the NHS being made by Hobbs 3D in Stratford. Picture: Hobbs 3D

Personal protective equipment destined for the NHS being made by Hobbs 3D in Stratford. Picture: Hobbs 3D

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A company in Newham is helping produce protective kit and respirator parts for frontline NHS workers.

The company is making valves for ventilators and visors for frontline NHS staff. Picture: Hobbs 3DThe company is making valves for ventilators and visors for frontline NHS staff. Picture: Hobbs 3D

Hobs 3D based in East Bay Lane, Stratford, on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, has focused production on printing masks and valves to aid staff battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Managing director Eric Savant said: “We have a responsibility to our community to do what we can with the resources we have available to make this situation as tolerable for everyone as possible.

“As a company, we are active, involved and know a lot of people so it would not have been natural for us to stand on the sidelines.

“We want to use the knowledge, connections and capabilities that we have to do some good and hopefully be able to help save some lives.”

Since the coronavirus outbreak ramping up production of personal protective equipment has been a key concern.

To help, Hobs 3D’s 30-strong team has worked with universities to design and develop visors to protect hospital staff fighting to save lives.

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In the coming weeks, the company expects its masks to be protecting thousands of frontline NHS, council and university workers.

Part of the battle for Hobs 3D, set up six years ago, has been keeping costs low without sacrificing the kits’ usefulness.

Staff have also been working with research hospitals, printing valves for different types of ventilator and respirator in a bid to boost what the machines can do.

It might seem like a long way from the company’s usual projects and clients, which are architecture and construction firms in need of 3D modelling. But Hobs 3D has managed the switch.

Eric, who continued to work in spite of getting the virus, said: “It’s been a little bit tricky, but we’re project based as a company.

“We don’t have standard orders. 3D printing involves the creation of bespoke projects. Every project is different. We’re used to thinking on our feet and creating to a client’s specific requirements.

“In this case, the client is different, but the processes are the same.”

One difference has been switching to mass production, but the company has adapted.

Nina Mehmi from park guardian London Legacy Development Corporation said: “It’s great to see organisations we support adapting to help people in different ways.”


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