EOA member story: i4 Product Design produces and distributes 3D-printed PPE directly to NHS

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND:  Weeks into the UK Lockdown with continued PPE shortage in the NHS preventing the protection from the spread of the Coronavirus, i4 Product Design has produced and distributed 3D-printed PPE directly to the NHS.

The initiative was spearheaded by a group of long-term staff members: Marco Miglionico, Ewan Maxwell, James Mackay, and Douglas Wood with 95 per cent of materials costs funded by staff.

Using open source designs, i4pd produced the Prusa RC3 face shield, but due to material issues, the design excluded a filter-mask to accompany the shield. So i4pd also produced a face filter chosen from a design known to make wearing existing face filters more comfortable.

The shield and filter are considered one complete donation of PPE gear. After an initial batch was produced for NHS staff of i4pd friends and family to test and evaluate. The design consultancy then used the  feedback to revise the open source designs. 

To date, 160 systems have been supplied to various NHS Scotland locations; Royal Victoria Dundee, Forth Valley Hospital, and the Obstetrics Department at Edinburgh Western General, and Liberton Hospital.

PPE was also donated to fellow Employee-Owned social enterprise Caledonia Social Care.

“Being an Employee-Owned, design firm also having been affected by the Coronavirus physically, mentally, and financially, we were very motivated to give something back to the community using the resources we have,” said Employee Director Marco Miglionico.  One unnamed i4 Product Design staff member had tested positive with the virus after falling ill with mild symptoms but made a quick and full recovery. 

“We are committed to continuing to supply PPE as long as there is need within the NHS for such equipment, and we want to thank all key workers on the frontline for the tremendous job they’re doing in trying to keep the country safe,” said Managing Director Brian Combe.

Using the best creative and engineering design talent, i4 Product Design has successfully brought more than 200 products to market since its establishment in 2003 and consistently creates high quality, commercially successful products for brands such as Nikon and Bosch.

More information on the company’s full range of services can be found at www.i4pd.co.uk

Limited donation requests (for the above-noted design) can be made to Enquiries@i4pd.co.uk using the Subject Line: PPE DONATION REQUEST by all organisations needing the specific PPE, with priority given to the NHS.