A CREATIVE business owner is striving to make hundreds of sought-after protective face masks for frontline workers using his 3D printer.

Robin Tomaselli, 31, from Weeley, is an account manager, but also runs a small business called Crafty Bob, producing unique 3D printed gifts.

He is now using his machine to produce at least 200 frames for masks, which are being made from materials he has purchased as a result of generous donations.

The cash is continuing to roll in and he could end up making as many as 400 masks for NHS staff fighting coronavirus.

Given the dwindling supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) currently available to frontline health facilities, his efforts could prove to be lifesaving.

“I decided to help because, while my 3D printer normally sits collecting dust, I thought I would put it to good use,” said Robin.

“The goal is to do at least 200 PPE face masks, but my fundraising page now has over £180, so I may have to go up to making 400.

“The frontline workers are doing a fantastic job, but they just need the funding and supplies in order to carry on.”

Robin got involved after Adastral Park launched a 3D printed production of face masks and appealed for volunteers to help increase production volumes.

The cluster of technology and telecommunication companies started the operation on behalf of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

At the beginning of each month, Adastral Park sends Robin an updated design file, which he then uses to print plastic frames for the masks.

Each one took 45 minutes to produce, but he now has a file which allows him to print eight mask frames in just five hours.

The finished products are then sent back and fixed together with clear acetate sheets, before being donated to the trust’s hospitals.

“Seeing other people around the world getting involved and social media posts asking for volunteers spurred me on,” he said.

“I originally only got a 3D printer as a hobby, but it feels great to be part of something big - so many people are joining in to supply these face masks.

“This initiative is fantastic and it makes sense to reach out and ask for help in these difficult times. “

“It is amazing how many people have volunteered their time already - it just makes sense to 3D print these vital tools for the NHS.”

To support Robin, visit Facebook.com/CraftyBob3D.