UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


STS student project creates face shields for NHS staff

24 July 2020

3rd year STS student Alexander Gregoriades has started a project with his housemate to produce and deliver free face shields for NHS staff.

Alex and Rayan with their £D printed face shields

Alexander created the 3D Against Covid campaign with his best friend and current flatmate, Rayan Ghandour, a second year at the University of Chicago (BA, BS; Economics, Chemistry) with the targeted goal of producing and delivering free face shield masks to support NHS staff.

When the wide-spread lack of hospital resources across Europe was made apparent to the public, the campaign initially aimed to produce face masks, the primary commodity in need. They were quickly met with the challenge of gathering the starting materials required to produce the desired face masks.

Due to the limited supply of the basic materials, it did not take long for us to conclude that this goal was unattainable on a mass production scale. After several meetings with various NHS members, it was made clear that face shields were another piece of equipment that was highly demanded.

The team then embarked upon a journey to create, design, and mass produce face shields, a product that offers the medical staff a much needed second layer of protection over the FFP2 or FFP3 masks they normally wear. Given that the NHS staff would wear these face shields all day long, the team set the goal of developing a prototype that would be equally comfortable as efficient.

After two weeks of research, they had successfully developed and adapted a new face shield that included three levels of adjustment as opposed to one; a feature that allows the user to adjust the shield to their liking, thus guaranteeing comfort and stability.

Our next challenge was to mass produce this face shield at an accelerated rate while bypassing the lack of availability of 200-micron acetate transparent sheets and special elastic rubber bands required to build the model. After an additional week of optimising, they finally developed a prototype that could be produced in under 45 minutes, and currently produce around 15 face shields a day and deliver in batches of 40 every three days.

The campaign has successfully delivered in excess of 380 face shields primarily to the NHS (to date), and other front-line workers. NHS staff have replied “The masks are certainly useful, and the nursing teams asked me to pass on their thanks for your contributions, which add to mine” and that the masks are “Apparently clearer and more comfortable than the NHS ones”.

This is an edited version of the full story, which can be read in the STS Newsletter Alchemy, linked below.



  • Alex and Rayan with their 3D printed masks - credit 3D against Covid

Media Contact

email - malcolm.chalmers [at] ucl.ac.uk