TEENAGER Bert Henwood has been using his 16th birthday present to help protect people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bert, a student at Henry Box School in Witney, received the 3D printer in March from his parents, and has since been putting it to very good use.

So far, he has made almost 100 visors for those on the frontline using his new printer, a Creality CR10S-Pro V2.

Bert said: “I got the printer as a present in March and since then I’ve been making masks for anyone who wants them.

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“Mainly I’ve been making them for individuals and also a group of door-to-door carers in Witney to help them on the frontline.

“It’s been quite rewarding to know that something I’ve been given to play around with and experiment with has been used in a time of need.

“My parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I’d been looking at 3D printers as I’ve been interested in them for a while.”

The printer works by feeding a roll of string plastic through to a hot nozzle, where it melts and can be morphed into the pattern for almost anything, including the protective face shields.

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Bert said he has seen people make door handles using the printer, and in addition to making the PPE items, he has also been helping out at home by using his printer to help fix a faulty cupboard.

The visors can take up to an hour to print, but only take a few minutes to assemble.

By ordering additional plastic online, Bert has been able to keep his production going throughout the lockdown period.

He also sees the educational value in his current project.

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The school’s Design and Technology department has been providing PPE itself to the local community, with Bert saying that by making the visors at home, it is helping him learn about the 3D computer aided design software and helps him understand how the printer works, thus he is able to improve his own designs.

The Church Green school has delivered 3D-printed PPE to the Windrush Medical Practice, the Witney Nuffield Health Centre, Long Hanborough Medical Centre and the Witney Community Hospital.

When Bert isn’t printing and assembling visors for key workers, he is helping to deliver prescriptions in the local community.

Once medicines have been sorted into their delivery areas, he and the other programme leaders head out to deliver them to vulnerable or self-isolating people within the community.

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In September, Bert intends to go to the sixth form at Henry Box where he will study Computing, Physics, Maths and further Maths.

Already with a career target in mind, the teenager said his main goal is to work in the Army as a Royal Signals Officer, a position responsible for leading and motivating specialist soldiers responsible for the Army’s communication systems.

However, he still wishes to keep his interest in technology as he also looks to become an electrical engineer in the future too.

Henry Box, founded in 1660, is a secondary school which also has a sixth form college.