About Us

30 April 2020

HES uses 3D printer to make PPE masks for frontline workers

Face visors made with a 3D printed head band

Historic Environment Scotland has repurposed technology at its national conservation centre, the Engine Shed in Stirling, to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) visors for NHS staff battling Covid19 across Scotland.

Working with Scottish Enterprise and the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, HES is using the facility’s state of the art 3D printing technology to produce the specialist protective visors, with the first batch of 50 masks this week delivered to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for staff in its Maxillofacial department.

The Engine Shed will now produce upwards of 50 PPE masks a week for the NHS and various organisations to support frontline staff across the country.

HES is also working with the recently formed Emergency Conservators Network (ECN) which has been set up to facilitate conservation involvement in addressing PPE shortages throughout the UK.

The leading heritage body is also supporting its contractors in their efforts to combat Covid19, including catering company Benugo whose baker at Edinburgh Castle, Red Walker, is making protective masks for the public, and cleaning contractor Mitie, whose Edinburgh Castle staff are taking part in voluntary ward cleaning at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids’ Hospital.

HES’s Head of Digital Innovation, Al Rawlinson, who has overseen the production of the protective visor masks said:

“We typically use our 3D printers to create models of our sites and collections for conservation, learning and interpretation purposes.

It’s been hugely rewarding to repurpose the technology to assist the NHS at this challenging time.

"The masks have been produced to meet the stringent specifications required for these specially adapted protective visors”

Al continued:

“HES is doing a lot across our various teams and with our partners to support the wider, countrywide fight against Coronavirus. It’s an absolute privilege to help NHS staff in this way, and we would like to extend our thanks to the QEUH team for all their fantastic work.”

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • The Engine Shed is Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre, based in Stirling. Part of Historic Environment Scotland, it serves as a central hub for building and conservation professionals and the general public.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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For further information, please contact:

Barry McPherson
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07880 134 601