Coronavirus: Hemel-based Opro teams up to help protect healthcare workers

Opro's 3D Magna printers.Opro's 3D Magna printers.
Opro's 3D Magna printers.
Sports mouthguard maker Opro has loaned its expertise to a national campaign to provide protective gear for healthcare workers.

The manufacturer, which has its headquarters in The Willows, Mark Road, Hemel Hempstead, has turned over five of its specialised Magna 3D printers to the creation of face shields for health staff caring for coronavirus patients.

It is supporting an initiative by Photocentric, based in Peterborough, which is turning out tens of thousands of protective face shields a day, which are being used in hospitals in the UK and Europe.

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Dr Anthony Lovat, founder and chief executive of Opro, which won the Queen’s Award for innovation last year, said: “Like many people, I have watched the Covid-19 crisis unfold and have been moved by the selflessness of our NHS.

The Opro head office in Hemel Hempstead.The Opro head office in Hemel Hempstead.
The Opro head office in Hemel Hempstead.

“We have been working with Photocentric for 18 months now and when its managing director Paul Holt contacted me to ask if we would loan them our suite of 3D printers to assist with the mass scale printing of protective face-shield parts for front line medics, I said ‘yes’ without hesitation.

“Right now it is incumbent upon all of us to help out however we can and I’m delighted that we can play our part in supporting the NHS save lives.”

Dr Lovat said since the Covid-19 health scare had broken, forcing the cancellation of sporting events, the business had endured a significant decline.

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He said: “We were therefore able and more than delighted to loan our five cutting edge 3D printers to our fellow Queen’s Award winner and partner Photocentric.

“They are significantly 
contributing to their daily output of 20,000 protective shields.

“The shields are being used by front line medical staff in the UK and mainland Europe, protecting them from potential droplets containing the virus, allowing them to save lives in the process.”

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