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Burnley College Engineering Tutors share expertise with businesses to make PPE for NHS during COVID-19 crisis

The College originally answered the national call for help from the NHS as its stocks of PPE dwindled due to increased patient numbers caused by Covid-19 and is now also proactively supporting local businesses to repurpose their own equipment and technology to produce face masks or visors, too.

The experienced Engineering Tutors, who are working from home since the College switched to remote teaching and learning in March, have been hard at work running the3D printers round the clock to produce the vital equipment for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Engineering Tutor Chris Platt, who has been working on the project alongside colleague Kris Richens, said:

“We will keep our 3D printers running and producing the items for as long as is necessary until stocks of PPE for those who are caring for Covid-19 victims and protecting the nation’s health are replenished centrally. As a College, we understand the important role we play in the community and are proud to be playing our part in providing much-needed equipment to the NHS.”

He added: 

“The College was originally contacted by leading Burnley firm AMS Neve Ltd who had seen we were using our 3D printers to create face masks for the NHS and wanted to do the same. We were happy to share our know-how with them and provide the technical plans of the PPE masks and have since then reached out to help other firms do the same. It’s a great way for the academic and business community to come together to share our skills and knowledge.”

Dean Walmsley, Production Manager, AMS Neve Ltd, said:

“Knowing we have two printers of a similar model to the College’s, I thought we could get some information on how to print the PPE. Each mask takes a while to print, so output is only around six per day – but we wanted to help.. 


There are lots of companies out there who probably want to help but just need pointing in the right direction. By sharing resources and knowledge like this we can surely boost supplies.

Dean Walmsley

AMS Neve

Alongside face masks and visors, the College is further supporting the NHS by donating its stocks of PPE used in laboratories and classrooms by students. Equipment which has been handed over includes disposable gloves, aprons, swabs and paper towels.

If you have a 3D printer and want to tap into the College’s expertise to help produce PPE for the NHS, care workers or other key workers at this time, contact [email protected] or [email protected]