Stirling Council libraries are using 3D printing technology to produce PPE equipment for the NHS and essential workers on the front line of the COVID-19 battle.
More than 100 face masks are being made each week using the printers which are operated by the libraries’ digital team in line with the Government’s social distancing restrictions.
The innovative scheme is part of a national crowd printing campaign from The Big Print, who handle the assembly, distribution and ordering of the equipment.
A Scottish assembly and distribution centre has been set up in Falkirk.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Chris Kane said: “Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, are some of the most in demand items on the planet right now… it is a fantastic idea to use them [3D printers] in this way to help supply masks to those on the front line of the fight against COVID-19.”
After starting work as a library technician one week before the full national lockdown got underway, Lauren McCombe was quickly entrusted with primary responsibility for printing the PPE.
She said: “Originally I was a bit overwhelmed at the thought of manufacturing PPE when I had barely switched on a 3D printer before.
It’s been an intensely rewarding process, both in terms of learning a new skill and being able to provide vital PPE for frontline workers who really need it.”
Vice Convener, Councillor Mauren Bennison congratulated Lauren and her team for their work: “The supply of PPE to front line workers has been a national issue since this crisis started and anything we can do to contribute to this effort should be applauded. A huge well done to Lauren and all involved.”
Despite the temporary closure of Stirling Council libraries, the public can still access a number of library services and resources online.
Since March, there has been a significant increase in the use of e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines and e-newspapers. The service has added to their e-book and e-audio collections to cope with the extra demand.
For more information on Stirling concil libraries and how to access their variety of free e-services, please visit the Stirling Council website.
The NHS Inform website is producing regularly updated guidance on COVID-19 and we would recommend this as the best resource for the latest information and advice.
Residents in need of care, essential supplies or support can contact 01786 404040 and have their requirements formally recorded by Stirling Council’s community response teams. You can also fill in our Support for People online form.
Feature Image: Stirling Council Library technician, Lauren McCombe, with some of the PPE equipment produced by the 3D printers.
Feature Image Credit: Stirling Council