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Design and technology student develops a cooled PPE visor to combat Covid-19

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Toby Weymouth, a 17-year-old A-level Design & Technology student at King’s School, Worcester and an Arkwirght Engineering Scholar, came up with an innovative solution to counter the discomfort nurses experience when wearing PPE face visors all day long in warm environments.

The aspiring engineer and marketing assistant at sensor experts PLUS Automation designed and refined a fan housing that anyone with an access to a 3D printer can make.

Toby’s design uses a 3D-printed housing to contain a small, light, quiet fan, which clips onto any visor and is powered by a USB phone battery pack, connected using a 1.5m cable. The battery pack can be kept in the user’s pocket. Since USB battery packs are readily available, the total cost for this cooled visor came to £5, on the assumption that the user would provide the battery.

Another key benefit is the reduction in waste because in future the USB portable battery pack also be used for many years, recharging phones etc. A typical small battery pack will run the fan for half a day, whilst a larger pack is capable of running the fan for an entire working day. The USB battery packs can instantly be swapped and they are recharged using phone chargers, laptops, or increasingly USB plugs.

With the help of Midland’s based 3D printing experts Central Scanning and the American 3D printer manufacturer Makerbot, the fan housing’s design has been optimised so that it can be made on home 3D printers. Toby has provided a variety of designs downloadable at from the website www.CoolingFans.co.uk.

Detailed instructions of how to mount the fan, make the cable and where to buy all the components, including the tools, are also listed at Parts.CoolingFans.co.uk and electronic component supplier CPC is offering specially reduced prices.

To help make Toby’s fans for nurses, carers and other key workers, check out the website – or donate to buy parts for others to assemble – a fan, housing and cable cost around £5 in total www.JustGiving.com/crowdfunding/CoolingFans

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