First year Mechatronics student James Essex produces vital PPE from home

Published on

Image of James producing PPE at home
First year Mechatronics student James creating vital PPE from his home.

A lot has changed for our students over the past few months as we have moved to online learning. For first year Mechatronics student James Essex it has been a time to put his skills to use. Using his own 3D printer he began creating PPE from his house.

When James went home on 20th March he began to think about how he could help the NHS during this time. Knowing that hardworking doctors and nurses were in need of PPE, James decided to put the 3D printer he owns to good use. 

James said, “The global shortage of PPE means a lack of protection for the people that need it. As someone who has the time and the means to make the equipment, I felt it was my responsibility to give it a try. One of the advantages of a 3D printer is that it can go from the design stage to a finished product in a matter of hours unlike traditional manufacturing, which made it a vital tool in the current circumstances.

“I already had rolls of the plastic (PLA) used to print which was why I could act so quickly. I use a standard 3D printer that was a self-assembled kit. You can buy them from Amazon for a little over £100 although they are very hard to get hold of at the moment.”

You can read an article about James's work here -

Since the article was published James has sourced more plastic and aims to print 40 more, totalling 70 masks by the end of the week.