BATANGAS CITY, Mar. 27 (PIA) --Batangas State University's LIKHA Fablab located in its Alangilan campus is currently producing 3D printed face shield frames designed for frontliners as protection against coronavirus disease (COVID)-19.
In an interview with BatStateU Vice President for Research Development and Extension Services Engr. Albertson Amante, the idea of creating a face shield for frontliners came out after his short meeting with University President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, and FabLab Manager Engr. Louie Villaverde.
"We are thinking of how we can be of help to our frontliners and upon finding out that one of their needs that should be addressed is the lack of protective personal equipment (PPE) like face shields," Amante said.
"We developed and tried to make one using 3D printers. We call our face shield, Red Spartan face shield, it was very symbolic since Red Spartan is our monicker, it was a shield against COVID-19."
According to Amante, they conceptualized some design based on existing ones but modified it to suit the needs of the frontliners.
"We have tested it to initial users from Batangas Medical Center. After the testing, we started producing the shields since Monday, March 23," Amante added.
The Fablab uses seven 3D printers which produce an average of 8 face shields per day. Since 3D printers are used for prototyping, they do not allow the machine to run on a 24/7 because it may bogged down.
Aside from the 3D printing, the BatStateU Likha Fablab is also designing another scheme using the vacuum forming machine which requires the use of mold that can produce a bigger number of shields of up to 150 pcs. per day.
In the past few days, they have distributed about 120 face shields to frontliners in Batangas Medical Center. They will continue to produce and coordinate with other hospitals to provide them with the same face shields that frontliners may wear to protect them from COVID-19.
At the moment, they are using the supplies of the university and obtained the permission of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Batangas thru Assistant Regional Director Marissa Argente for the use of the 3D printers originally intended for the utilization of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
LIKHA Fablab or Labspace for Innovation Knowledge-Honing and Application Fabrication laboratory is a project funded by the DTI that was established in 2018 for the use of MSMEs in prototyping their products. (Bhaby P. De Castro-PIA Batangas)