Andrew Duffey, Head of Department, is an inspiration to all students at Merchant Taylors' School

“A few days into the lockdown, I saw a post online about someone printing visor masks using one 3D Printer. This got me thinking that the school has nine 3D printers so I can definitely print 9 times the visor masks.

Andrew Duffey
Image: Andrew Duffey

I am Andrew Duffey, Secondary school teacher and Head of Department at Merchant Taylors’ School, London, UK.  My mother is a key worker, my nephew is a social worker and my wife is a primary school teacher so as a family we are doing our bit in one or the other way during this tough time.

The 3D community is friendly and kind. There are a lot of open-source designs that you can download and use them to print. To manufacture and assemble the visor masks, there are two parts to it – one the visor, which is printed off from a 3D printer, and two the headband, which is created using laser cutting. Both parts are then assembled.

Initially, I started working all by myself and created a small batch of 450 visors in the first week and 650 in the second week. When I shared this online, I got emails and messages with thousands of order requests. I was so surprised to see the high demand. At that moment, I knew that by making only a few hundred every week I would not be able to make a bigger impact. Hence, I started looking for ways in which I can manufacture more efficiently.

A few days later, the UK’s leading flooring company Amtico contacted me. They were kind to donate the material for the headbands. This was a huge help because they laser cut and sent them to us. Obviously, Amtico was much more efficient with the process, and this way all I had to focus was on the visor printing and the assembling part. We manufactured 4,500 visor masks in the week after.

As things grew rapidly, there were many people and school staff who wanted to help. We now have over 25 volunteers and tasks are divided amongst us, from production to distribution to management and to delivery. A lot of other schools have joined hands with us too. We are giving them the kits that include the headband and visor so that they can assemble and distribute in their local areas. To date, we have produced and donated 12,000 visors to hospitals, pharmacies, and care homes. Additionally, we have given 9,000 kits to the schools for them to assemble and donate locally.

I am so proud to be a part of the community that is selflessly giving back.

The will is there, the people are there so why not?

You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Andrew and the team for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.

If you know someone who is working for others, please share the story

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