Nobel Algarve joins community fight against Covid-19

Nobel International School Algarve may have closed its physical doors when the state of national emergency was declared but as well as a diverse programme of teaching and learning being delivered through online channels and tools, the school’s Head of Design and Technology, Simon Huntridge, began putting his trusty 3D printer to effective use to support the local frontline healthcare workers.

The 3D printer has been working around the clock to produce masks for the doctors and nurses that are so desperately short of PPE, and the first batch was delivered on April 8 to the Portimão Hospital. Mr Huntridge’s target was to produce 100 masks, however, he is seeking donations of materials to increase this target to 1,000.

To realise this mammoth task, it has only been possible through teamwork and collaboration. Within Algarve, there is an online movement of 3D printer owners, private, industrial and educational, who have come together to produce a “standard” part that can be adapted for use in any healthcare environment.

The mask then uses an A4 sheet of clear acetate to protect the face of the healthcare worker. The PLA plastic for the school’s first batch was donated by Skydive Seven Algarve and Nadia Cann, a Primary School teacher at the school, kindly donated 200 sheets of acetate.

“This is a great way of using the school’s resources at a time of dire need to help others stay safe within our precious community,” said Mr Huntridge.

“As demand for these masks is so high and frontline healthcare workers are in dire need of protection, we have somewhat ramped up production. Thank to local donations, we have enough materials to make 700 masks and should have these done by the end of the week. We have utilised the school laser cutter to quickly cut out polypropylene sheets to make the masks.”

To contact Simon Huntridge about contributing to this project, email [email protected]

A nurse wearing one of the masks produced at Nobel
Simon Huntridge, the school’s Head of Design and Technology, trying one of the masks