Team Thomas support Rugby PPE Response

Bryn Thomas @ Datagraphic

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Datagraphic employees are going above and beyond. Here, one of them Bryn Thomas, talks about printing face shields.

It’s fair to say, Bryn – an Inkjet Specialist in the production team at Datagraphic – knows a lot about print. But, in recent months his print skills have grown in unexpected areas!

Bryn explains, “In late March this year, my wife Jo saw a request on our doctors’ surgery website. They asked if anyone with a 3D printer could help to make face shields for NHS staff and carers. Having a 3D printer at home, it seemed the natural thing to offer help and do our bit.

Jo got a link for the Prusa website: with a build for 3D printed face shields. We started printing at home producing 6-7 headbands a day. But that was only the start!

Jo Thomas
Jo Thomas 3D printing for Rugby PPE response.

Bilton Junior School, where Jo works, loaned their 3D printer to us, so we could double home production. Other local residents with small 3D printers also started to help.”

As an Inkjet Specialist, Bryn operates Datagraphic’s high volume Xerox Inkjet presses. He prints essential communications for the NHS, financial services sector and more. Given the nature of this work, Bryn isn’t able to work from home. So, he started to think of ways he could still support the PPE efforts at work.

Having a 3D printer at home, it seemed the natural thing to help and do our bit Bryn Thomas

Bryn continues: “Matt, my colleague at Datagraphic had his 3D printer in work. We agreed I could use it, and between jobs, I started to set face shield headbands printing. They’re quick to set-up, but take a long time to print so it’s easy to fit around the important work we do.

When the team at Datagraphic heard what I was doing, they wanted to help. The company had a small supply of acetate it provided for the visors. Then, in early April, they bought a 3D printer for me. It arrived needing assembling just before the Bank Holiday weekend. I took it home to build, set-up and print. This expanded our home printing to three 3D printers for a very manic four days!

Dr Keith Edgar
Dr Keith Edgar, out of retirement working on the Rugby PPE Response.

After the bank holiday, I returned the 3D printer to Datagraphic. My colleagues Simon, David, Glen and Helen started to help set-up the face shields. We all work on different shifts so the printer can run from early in the morning to late evening.

At home, work and with help from other local residents and the University of Coventry we’ve made and distributed over 6000 face shields so far.

Jo, working with Dr Edgar – a local retired GP supporting the crisis – is co-ordinating distribution through the Rugby PPE Response. Our face shields are going to local care homes, prisons and hospitals in Rugby and Coventry.”