Prime's visor goes global

Jo Francis
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Prime Group’s innovative visor design is now being manufactured all over the world in an extraordinary act of collaboration between disparate printers and manufacturers.

Prime Group: V2 visor now in production
Prime Group: V2 visor now in production

The Nottinghamshire-based firm has rolled out an improved ‘V2’ design since it moved quickly to start producing disposable visors last week, due to the well-publicised issues around the availability of suitable PPE items for frontline NHS workers treating Covid-19 patients.

Prime’s visor is now also being made at ProCo in Sheffield, with Dagenham’s Precision Printing in the process of ramping up production at its factory.

A GoFundMe campaign to help fund manufacturing and distribution was more than half-way to its £20,000 target at the time of writing.

The initiative has taken off worldwide, with the number of countries involved growing on a daily basis.

HP in Israel has also started making the visors.

“What an amazing global community we have,” said Prime Group managing director Jon Tolley. “It’s about the collaboration working together to solve technical challenges quickly. Share tweaks and drawings etc. Such a global effort from everyone to combat this."

He added: “We will share all tech specs, drawings and know-how with any country needing it to help frontline staff.”

Web-to-print giant Cimpress started off making visors at its Pixartprinting facility in Italy, but has now expanded this to its other worldwide manufacturing sites.

“By letting everyone have the specs we can flood the market and kill the horror prices being charge by some rogue traders,” said Cimpress senior director for corporate development Bernhard Heiligtag.

Tolley said that as of yesterday (31 March) the visors were being manufactured in a raft of additional countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Spain, South Africa, South Korea and Canada. 

Separately, a website has been set up to bring together companies and individuals with 3D printing capacity that can be redeployed to make parts for face shields. The 3DCrowd UK site started off with six people last week, and now has more than 800 volunteers signed up. 

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