Northumberland teenager makes 600 face shields for health care workers with 3D printers

A teenager from Holy Island has made 600 face shields for frontline health care workers.

Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 9:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 1:17 pm

Micheal Vrieling van Tuijl has made the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for local hospitals, care homes and GP practices.

The 18-year-old started by using his 3D printer at home but he has now borrowed a second 3D printer from his old school and moved production to the Island’s Crossman Hall where he has more space.

Michael, a first year mechanical engineering student at the University of Bath, said: “When I got back from university I saw various groups were looking at making PPE equipment but there were a few problems with the reliability of components with 3D printing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“I went away and did some research on face shields and decided to start printing them. I was originally doing a maximum of 50 a day on my printer but then I asked if I could borrow another one from my old school at Longridge Towers (near Berwick) and that’s enabled me to double the amount I can make per day to 100.”

He has made 100 face shields for staff at Berwick Infirmary and around 150 for local care homes. He has also supplied the GP surgeries in Belford and Wooler as well as some pharmacies. He had made 600 by Tuesday.

“There’s been a good response so far,” he said. “I got a message from a care home in Newcastle that they were comfortable to wear and the staff felt a lot more confident now that they have them.

“I also got a nice thank you message from the Wooler GP surgery which was lovely.”

He is being helped out on the production line by his good friend and fellow Islander, Jack Hills.

“Mikey’s very talented at this sort of thing,” said Jack. “For me, it’s a nice thing to be able to help in some way and give back.”

Michael is being given the use of the community hall free of charge and has received additional financial support from Islanders.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you.