The Creation of Magna Printer Farm

Creating the largest quantity of a single PPE item by 3D Printing ever made

To fulfil our NHS contract, we have designed and installed a purpose-built factory to make face shields. Currently housing 45 Magna printers, operating 24/7, we are making over 50,000 3D printed components every day.

3D printing creates instant product. Our shield is customisable, the angled face visor provides space at the front and close protection at the sides.

The changes and developments to enable the manufacture of 7.7 million face shields

45 printers manufactured and installed as a ‘print farm’

Optimized a design print without supports

Written software to control a farm of printers

Created optimized wash and cure process

Improved speed of printers

Developed the chemistry to improve material property

Factors that enabled this to happen

Unique position, Patented technology.

When we started in 3D printing 6 years ago, we had the vision that uniquely screens could enable custom mass manufacture. Today, we have made that dream a reality, responding in volume at the time of need.

Unique Daylight Technology

Patented Daylight system- partnering chemistry and screen perfectly. Safe for screens, consistent intensity delivers exceptional final plastic properties.

In-House Chemistry

Photocentric has been at the leading edge of photopolymer manufacture for more than 15 years. We manufacture in-house, creating the building blocks of plastics making oligomers. We created a new resin specially for face shields in just 3 weeks using our dedicated team of chemists.

LCD Screens

Large format, high resolution, cost-effective, and long-lasting LCD screens. Our screens run on daylight ensuring our printers last a lifetime. Large screen areas harden large volumes of plastic, simultaneously.

UK Sourced Components, UK Grown Product.

70% of the components of Magna are sourced in the UK. Obtaining components locally means we can iterate the design effortlessly, introducing improvements seamlessly. Scaling manufacture can be achieved rapidly. High quality reliable products with secure supply chains.

Our Progress

  • Progress of NHS contract (Shields manufactured) 36.1% 36.1%

Learn how we set up the print farm below

Face Shields Manufactured

“At this unparalleled time for the UK, I just wanted to say how grateful I am for the efforts of your company, Photocentric, had gone to support the UK effort to purchase and manufacture personal protective equipment.

This is challenging for us all; however, you are contributing to the resilience of the UK in responding to this pandemic and protecting our society, and I am grateful for Photocentric during this challenging time.”

Matt Hancock

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, United Kingdom

Liquid Crystal Magna prints a full bed of 210 face shield separators in 3 hours.

Printed in Magna Translucent in 350my layer thickness.

452 layers at 12 secs per layer: Exposure 4 secs + Movement 1 secs + Dwell 7 secs (plus base layers).
15.8cm (6 ¼ ”) printed z-height in 110 mins.
14g per part = 1.85kg of objects created on bed.

Number printed per day = 1680 (24 hrs)

Liquid Crystal Magna creating functional custom parts at 17.5g every minute.

Face Shield Mass Manufacture

Our Journey 

COVID-19 – Becoming a 3D Mass Manufacturer for the First Time. We transformed our business to make face shields for healthcare workers.