Toby Weymouth, an aspiring engineer and member of the EDGE 4×4 team, sponsored by MyWorkwear, has just released his designs for a PPE visor mounted cooling fan to make Coronavirus PPE visors easier to wear in the summer.
Toby came up with an innovative solution to counter the horrific photos carried in newspapers, showing the discomfort of nurses wearing PPE face visors all day long in warm hospitals. He hit upon the idea of using a cooling fan to create a gentle breeze on the face, much like the solar-powered, comedy baseball caps he had seen in Florida.
Being an A-level Design & Technology student, Toby worked to design and refine a fan housing which hobbyists could manufacture for themselves and their local community on a 3D printer. He also wanted to produce a high-quality, quiet solution which was comfortable to wear.
Toby’s design uses a 3D-printed housing to contain a small, light, quiet fan, which clips onto any visor and is powered by a USB phone battery pack, connected using a 1.5m cable. The battery pack can be kept in the user’s pocket, which removes the weight of the fan on the head. In addition to this as many people already own these USB battery packs, it enabled the cost to make a fan to be kept to around £5 each, on the assumption that the user would provide the battery.
Another key benefit is the reduction in waste because in future the USB portable battery pack also be used for many years, recharging phones etc. A typical small battery pack will run the fan for half a day, whilst a larger pack is capable of running the fan for an entire working day. The USB battery packs can instantly be swapped and they are recharged using phone chargers, laptops, or increasingly USB plugs.
With the help of MiM member and 3D printing experts Central Scanning and the American 3D printer manufacturer Makerbot, the fan housing’s design has been optimised so that it can be made on home and hobbyist 3D printers.
As a young engineer, Toby was a member of EDGE4x4, sponsored by MyWorkwear, which twice won the UK heats of the Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge and achieved 5th position in last year’s World final.
James Worthington, Managing Director of MyWorkwear, based in Shropshire, commented ‘I am passionate about the future of manufacturing and engineering in the UK and via MyWorkwear support a number of STEM initiatives’
James continued ‘I first met Toby when we supported the Edge 4×4 team with their branded team clothing. The team from Kings School, Worcester, have done really well over the last few years and have shown me that there is some real talent coming forward in the next generation in manufacturing. Toby has yet again shown real initiative with this project and I couldn’t be more proud to have been involved, even on a small scale, in his journey so far. I can definitely see him being a star of the engineering world in the future.’
If you would like to make fans for nurses, carers and other key-workers, please check www.coolingfans.co.uk or please donate at – www.JustGiving.com/crowdfunding/CoolingFans so others are able to assemble more.
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