Solar shading contractors, Solinear is using its 3D printers to produce face shields for emergency services in the battle against COVID-19
Based in Sherriff Hutton, York, Solinear is more familiar with the manufacturing of feature facades not face shields. However, due to the critical shortfall in protective face shields, the Solinear team is concentrating their efforts on 3D printing vital pieces of equipment for the emergency services.
The idea was proposed by one of Solinear’s welders, Elliot Headley, who subsequently discussed his proposition with Andy Moore, Solinear’s design manager.
Headley suggested that “in the current situation, Solinear’s 3D printers could be better applied to the production of face shields.”
He continued: “The sooner we can contain COVID-19 the sooner we can take stock, begin to recover, get back to some level of normality. For me, personally, coronavirus meant that I lost out on one of the greatest adventures of my life – travelling the world – but I’m aware that there are people who have lost their jobs, lives and loved ones to this devastating virus.
“Having seen the news and understanding the gravity of the situation it made sense to me – switch from production of regular Solinear items to face shields, if we can.”
The 3D printers were originally purchased for the manufacturing of adaptable ancillary components for Solinear’s architectural louvres and solar shading products.
Face shield production begins
Tom Dwyer, Solinear’s director said: “Solinear has successfully traversed the peaks and troughs of the construction industry and the devastating chasm of recession but a global pandemic is a complete unknown for our industry – many are in limbo. I speak for the entire Solinear team when I say our sympathy goes out to everyone affected by it.
“We will do all we can to assist in the effort to stop the virus spreading further so putting into practice Elliot’s brilliant idea and Andy’s considerable understanding of 3D printing we will scale down regular manufacturing and begin production of components for face shields immediately.”
Solinear’s 3D printers will be dedicated to fabricating clamps for face shields for as long as required. Although capacity has been reduced, as the business adheres to social distancing guidelines, manufacturing of Solinear’s architectural louvres and brise soleil continues.