Visor manufacturer donates 3D printers to school

Matt Read with Tom Corker of Felixstowe Academy after donating the 3D printers Picture: GOODERHAM PR

Matt Read with Tom Corker of Felixstowe Academy after donating the 3D printers Picture: GOODERHAM PR - Credit: Archant

A kind-hearted father who has used 3D printers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers during the coronavirus crisis has donated some of the machines to Felixstowe Academy.

Matt Read, an experienced sailmaker, has produced around 12,000 visors for NHS staff since the Covid-19 outbreak began after launching a fundraiser on GoFundMe to pay for the materials.

He was making as many as 4,000 visors a week at the peak of the crisis, but has now scaled down PPE production to just over 100 weekly units.

Mr Read has now decided to donate some machines to the technology department of Felixstowe Academy, where four of his children are students.

He said: “I initially made the visors after I saw an appeal from Ipswich Hospital and raised £2,000 to produce them.

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“It just snowballed from there and we were sending out visors across the country. We received some lovely messages from healthcare staff – it made it all worthwhile.

“We are still making about 100 to 150 visors a week, but we now have a surplus of 3D printers. Felixstowe Academy has always supported my family so I wanted to give something back to my local school.”

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Tom Corker, head of technology at Felixstowe Academy, added: “We are delighted by this fantastic donation. Modern technology is a big part of the curriculum and these printers will be so useful across all our age groups.

“It is a fantastic donation and Matt has also given us some tips to get the best out of the equipment. They are going to be a real asset for our students.”

MORE: How Suffolk businesses and individuals have been helping protect frontline health workers

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