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Man prints more than 1,000 face shields for community

PUBLISHED: 14:07 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2020

Mike Ford from Downham Market has been printing 3D face shields for key workers in his community. Picture: Mike Ford

Mike Ford from Downham Market has been printing 3D face shields for key workers in his community. Picture: Mike Ford

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A Norfolk man has printed more than 1,000 3D face shields for his community in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Mike Ford from Downham Market has been printing 3D face shields for key workers in his community. Picture: Mike FordMike Ford from Downham Market has been printing 3D face shields for key workers in his community. Picture: Mike Ford

Mike Ford, from Downham Market, initially began printing face shields for NHS staff and key workers in light of the pandemic and has since extended it to those in need in his community.

The chartered engineer, who works in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach, felt compelled to help after schools and colleges closed.

The 61-year-old said he was inspired by the national effort in producing personal protective equipment (PPE) equipment and wanted to do his “bit in the area in which he lives.”

He said: “The demand has been so great that I have just personally purchased an additional machine.

Mike Ford from Downham Market has been printing 3D face shields for key workers in his community. Picture: Mike FordMike Ford from Downham Market has been printing 3D face shields for key workers in his community. Picture: Mike Ford

“All of the face shields have predominately been distributed locally into the west Norfolk area, with the small exception of a few posted to Blackpool and Grantham.

“I have been printing now since March, 30 every day from 7am to 9pm, sometimes longer, up till 3am depending on demand.”

Mr Ford has made more than 1,000 units using 3D printing machines in his home office and has been donating them to those in need in Downham Market and the surrounding area.

This includes local hospitals, supermarkets, food factories, care homes, pharmacies, doctor surgeries and vets.

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He added: “My current focus is the care sector.

“I intend to keep going as long as there is a demand and I can maintain a flow of materials.

Mike Ford from Downham Market has been printing 3D face shields for key workers in his community. Picture: Mike FordMike Ford from Downham Market has been printing 3D face shields for key workers in his community. Picture: Mike Ford

“As you can imagine, when you turn up with these, the response and gratitude from everyone really makes it all worthwhile.

“Downham Market Town Council have been great in promoting these and quite a few have been distributed with their thanks.

“These are all donated free of charge.

“I want to say a huge thank you to all my supporters whose valuable contribution enables me to keep the machines fed with raw material.”

The chartered engineer hopes to help key workers and anyone in need of a face shield.

You can contact Mr Ford on mike.ford58@gmail.com

Downham Market Town Council is also making free masks for people in the community - contact them on masksdmtc@gmail.com

READ MORE: Galton Blackiston to cook for hospital patients and staff


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