A LECTURER has been putting his lockdown time to good use by making face shields for carers working at the front-line of the Covid-19 pandemic – using a 3D printer loaned from his college.

Neil McCormack can usually be found teaching students at The Northern School of Art in Middlesbrough, in his role as course leader for Interior Architecture and Product Design.

He has continued teaching remotely from his home in Great Ayton but in his spare time he has been putting his skills to good use.

Over the past few months, using a 3D printer he took home from college with him, he has been making face shields for local carers.

They include people working for Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland), a home care company operating across East Cleveland and Middlesbrough.

The masks he made have been described as better than the ones purchased by the company.

Mr McCormack said: “We use 3D printers all the time in the college, so when lockdown happened I took one home with me so I could make visors to help the local community.

“I then saw the stories about the lack of PPE for carers, so I thought it would be a good idea to try to make some face-shields.

“I have made about 100 and counting so far and distributed them to local care homes and people I know working in care.

“I was told about the work Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland) were doing to ensure people could still receive home care during the pandemic and when I offered to make them some shields, they said yes immediately.”

Caremark (Redcar and Cleveland) manager Michelle Jackson said: “The face-shields Neil made are much sturdier than the ones we bought ourselves and we are very grateful for his donation.

“Getting PPE was initially very difficult, so it’s been great to have support like this so our carers, and customers have remained protected during the pandemic.”

The process of making the face-shields is a laborious one.

Mr McCormack added: “It takes 11 hours to print four frames on the 3D printer so it’s fair to say my electricity bill is going to be high!

“I order the plastic visor material from ebay, and cut them to fit the frames.

"Doing them in batches of ten, this takes a further five to 20 minutes, but I am just glad to have been able to help carers and Caremark in this way.”