Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Uniting passion and skills to help support health workers

April 3, 2020


People can quickly come together when their community is impacted.


This couldn’t be truer for small business owner – Alex Gibson – of Edumaker, a 3D printing company in Reading, England. Aware there was a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the field for health service workers, he offered to donate his knowledge and printers to help print protective face visors. However, it needed a team of dynamic thinkers with complimentary skill sets to quickly make it happen.

Alex got in touch with an online engineering community in Reading, that has tools for the members of the local community to use. He wanted to find out if others had the resources to help him make the face visors. Matthew Richards, a product engineering manager for Cisco, along engineers from RACE, a business unit of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, offered their support. Reading University and Oxford Academic Health Science Network also agreed to be networking partners.

Matthew’s a National Health Service (NHS) Community First Responder with South Central Ambulance Service, as well as an engineer, so he was happy to help lead this project as it’s very close to his heart. With Cisco’s facilities and resources, he’s been able to set up a ‘safe environment’ 24/7 printing facility at Green Park with over thirty 3D printers that have been donated by Alex and other members of the local community.* One hundred and thirteen Cisco volunteers were also trained and worked shifts this past week to produce the face visors.

This team of collaborators worked with independent Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) consultants’ Dr João de Barros and Dr Richard Brydges to design, document, and approve the manufacturing procedures and processes. Their work has been pulled into an information pack, with the intent of making this open source, so other printers can use it.

Seventeen local General Practitioners (GP) surgeries are now using the face visors and kindly distributing them to other health service providers in the area. We are ramping up to printing 300 plus visors a day, to help support local NHS trusts.

By making the most of the resources that we have, this project has come together in just a week. Because of kind-hearted people like Alex, Matthew, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the GMP consultants, Reading University, Oxford Academic Health Science Network, volunteers from Cisco and members of the local community in Reading we are able to help others in need.


*Companies include: The Curious Lounge, Handy Dan’s 3D prints, Tocabot.

Leave a comment


  1. How can we get in contact to allow you to borrow a 3d printer?
    e.g. An anycubic 4max

  2. Ro

  3. Wonderful team effort by everyone involved. Thank you so much.

  4. Hi David, the designs used in the project are already available online from Josef Prusa's website:

    This project is based on using these open source designs.

  5. Great stuff, but it would be even better if you shared the design you were using so others with 3D Printers could also participate.

  6. Proud to work for Cisco and to be able to volunteer on this project. Every little helps and when we all work together great things happen!

  7. Proud to have participated in this project — it's such a great example of this company's special culture and our ability to make stuff happen fast, despite our size.