15-year-old army cadet makes masks for NHS personnel using printer he bought with spending money

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A 15-year-old army cadet used his pocket money to buy a 3D printer – and is currently making hundreds of visors for front-line NHS personnel.

Chris Johnson can make up to 30 PPE masks per day from his home in Warrington, Cheshire.

Since the schools closed last month, it has already delivered 158 visors to nurses in the Warrington district, medical staff at Preston Hospital in Lancashire and even a maternity team in Oxford.

Chris was inspired to start the project because many of his family are NHS workers, including his aunt, Lt. Col. Joanne Eccles MBE, who is deputy commander of Lancashire Army Cadet Force and senior nurse at Preston Hospital.

The grade 11 student became interested in the design and manufacture of 3D printers after studying the process at UTC Warrington Technical University, where he has been studying engineering since 2018.

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Young Army Cadet Used Pocket Money To Buy 3D Printer

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Chris, who wants to work in electrical engineering in the future, said: “I was fortunate to be able to buy a 3D printer with money that I had already saved and with the current pandemic, I had thought of ways to help possible way.

“I wanted to donate PPE to the NHS to help protect people at risk while they are doing vital work to save lives, so I decided to make 3D printing face shields because I can make 25 to 30 a day.

“This is particularly important to me because many of my family are front line workers with the NHS.



Chris Johnson, 15, and his aunt, Lt. Col. Joanne Eccles



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“I plan to donate PPE to the hospitals in Preston and Warrington and to primary care workers in Warrington. “

In recent weeks, staff from 20 university technical colleges (UTC) across the country have also used their 3D printers to fabricate the metal frames for protective visors.

Teachers at Chris ‘college have already donated PPE to the Warrington Borough Council and are developing more to donate to front-line NHS staff and social workers.

Amanda Downing, Associate Director of UTC Warrington, said: “All of our daily routines have changed significantly and under these uncertain circumstances, it is comforting to see our youth go above and beyond to help their community.

“Chris is an inspiring ambassador for UTC – his technical skills are certainly being used throughout the community.

“Some of our teachers use 3D printers in college and at home to make parts for the equipment we desperately need.

“There is a positive community spirit between the schools coming together to support our NHS. “

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