RAF News

RAF Odiham uses 3D printing of clips which improves the comfort of PPE for NHS workers

RAF Odiham's Chinook Support Centre (CSC) is supporting the NHS in the fight against Coronavirus by manufacturing and distributing supportive clips to NHS workers to ease discomfort caused by the protective face masks.

The CSC at RAF Odiham – a joint RAF and Boeing team, has been providing expert advice and authority for engineering matters on the Boeing Chinook aircraft as part of the RAF’s support to the UK’s fight against Coronavirus.

CSC Team members who have relations working within the NHS treating Coronavirus patients, quickly identified a request from the 3-D National Printing Society, supported by Government direction, to manufacture supportive clips to stand-off the elasticated straps on protective face masks that were causing pain and discomfort during prolonged periods of use.

A CSC Team member said:

“It is great to be able to use the skills and resources that are available to me in my job and to be able to support my wife during this extremely hard time for her is really rewarding”

The 3-D printer at RAF Odiham, ordinarily used for Service Modifications and Special Fits for the Chinook aircraft, is now running 24 hours per day, seven days per week producing ten clips per run in seven hours. After a few ‘false-starts’, the innovative improvisation from the team at the CSC has now maximised the 3-D printer’s output of this supportive clip design.

Mr Mark Goodger, Officer Commanding CSC said:The CSC works as a cohesive team of military and industry personnel to provide engineering solutions to the Forward Chinook Fleet; this effort has been yet another example of the teamwork and engineering innovation that the CSC strives to deliver”.

So far, the CSC, which is part of the Defence Equipment & Support Chinook delivery team, has produced over 120 clips and will be distributing them via team members’ family contacts working within the NHS to improve the comfort of the face masks.

An NHS worker said: “These clips are great and reduce the pressure behind your ears when wearing a face mask.  An added benefit is that the movement of the mask is reduced making it more secure”.

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