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FabLab Devon step up to the PPE challenge

Posted on 01 Apr 2020

FabLab Devon, which is part of independent charity Libraries Unlimited, has answered the call for urgently needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required by all NHS frontline staff.

The first batch of visor attachments have been collected today and are being dispatched to NHS staff in the local area.  FabLab Devon is working alongside a team of local volunteers to 3D print PPE visors.

Marcus Brown, FabLab Exeter Digital Making Tutor, said “It’s been a very busy weekend.  Our base at Exeter Library is currently closed so I collected the 3D printers on Friday in order to set up a home production unit. I have printed non-stop since Friday including printing overnight.”

FabLab Devon is 3D printing visor parts and reinforcements as part of a volunteer group led by Dr Rupa Chilvers of Exeter based company Tangerine Bee.

Marcus continued “We know time is of the essence, so we are working around the clock to produce these visors for frontline staff.  There are more orders coming in so our home production unit will continue to be busy.”

FabLab Devon, which is part of independent charity Libraries Unlimited, is based in Exeter and Barnstaple Library. It is a small-scale digital making workshop offering digital fabrication facilities. It’s an open access, not-for-profit, community resource where anybody can invent and make just about anything.  The FabLab offers design and making workshops for adults and children, a membership scheme, an outreach programme and birthday parties.

Steve Turner, Head of Commercial & Innovation at Libraries Unlimited said “Our physical libraries may be closed but I am inspired by the creative projects our library staff are developing and delivering.  We are finding new ways to help our local communities and this FabLab initiative is an excellent example of how libraries can support others.”

The FabLab is seeking supporters to enable its work to continue.  If you are interested in supporting the work of the FabLab, please do contact us.

To find out more about FabLab Devon visit and to contact Marcus Brown please email

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.