School sixth former Toby Weymouth has created his own fan-assisted face visor, inspired by the caps worn by US baseball fans.
The A-level Design & Technology student at King’s School, Worcester and Arkwirght Engineering Scholar, 17, wanted to design a fan housing which hobbyists could manufacture for themselves and their local community on a 3D printer.
Weymouth, whose father Mark is managing director of Plus Automation, approached Midland’s based 3D printing experts Central Scanning and the American 3D printer manufacturer Makerbotfor assistance and advice.
The completed design uses a 3D-printed housing to contain a small, light, quiet fan, which clips onto any visor and is powered by a USB phone battery pack, connected using a 1.5m cable. A battery pack can be kept in the user’s pocket, which removes the weight of the fan on the head.
Where people already own USB battery packs, it enables the cost to be kept to around £5 each, he claims. Another key benefit is the reduction in waste because in future the USB portable battery pack also be used for many years, recharging phones etc.
“A typical small battery pack will run the fan for half a day, whilst a larger pack is capable of running the fan for an entire working day. The USB battery packs can instantly be swapped and they are recharged using phone chargers, laptops, or increasingly USB plugs," he explained.
The not-for-profit venture was prompted by media images showing the discomfort of nurses and other health workers wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) face visors all day. Weymouth hit upon the idea of using a cooling fan to create a gentle breeze on the face after recalling the solar-powered, comedy baseball caps he had seen in Florida.
An aspiring engineer, Weymouth was a member of EDGE4x4, a King’s School team which twice won the UK heats of the Land Rover 4x4 In Schools Technology Challenge and achieved fifth position in last year’s World final.