When Jason Thompson, group managing director of Glazerite UK Group, asked for some product assistance to support a family member operating on the frontline at St Helier Hospital, London, Window Widgets were quick off the mark to provide the much-needed support for the NHS.
The straps on the face masks used by the London hospital had proven to be uncomfortable over long periods of time and so the request was made to design and manufacture a better solution that would help relieve pressure on the face and ears. The first prototype was design validated, produced and sent directly within 24 hours for immediate approval.
Despite the current lockdown at Window Widgets, directors Mike Hart and Sarah Hitchings have worked in shifts, including the Easter weekend, to produce the new straps using their 3D printer and there are now daily deliveries going out to St Helier Hospital and now also to Southmead Hospital in Bristol. While the 3D printing is a relative slow process, over the course of days and weeks the production volumes have slowly increased.
Sarah Hitchings, sales and marketing director of Window Widgets commented: ‘The request from Jason was certainly something we were very keen to do, despite the lockdown circumstances. Thanks to the original design from Thingiverse and subsequent validation of product and process from Mike, we were able to start producing and distributing the new straps within 48 hours. We’ve also heard many other stories of businesses and even schools using 3D printers to manufacture components for frontline NHS staff.
She continued: ‘We’ll be looking to make these as long as is necessary and we’ve also designed them so that they will last for the longer-term. Let’s face it, we all have a duty amidst this crisis to help others and it’s a time for this country to unite and support where we can.’