MANILA, Philippines – Utilizing 3D printers in its 8 campuses, faculty members and staff of Philippine Science High School (PSHS) collaborate to provide face shields for medical workers and security officers to protect them from COVID-19.
The PSHS Main Campus, Ilocos Region, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Caraga, SOCCSKSARGEN Region, and Southern Mindanao campuses are simultaneously producing face shields. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Volunteers, medical frontliners improvise PPEs amid shortage)
Engr. Kevin Daga-as, in-charge of Makerspace, a learning and innovation area where students can come together to design and learn to develop creative projects, started the initiative at the SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus, which eventually became a PSHS System-wide project.
However, because of the community quarantine, they are having difficulties getting acetate films and 3D printer filament, Daga-as said.
PSHS System Executive Director Lilia Habacon already called for assistance through her Facebook post to help the PSHS campuses look for suppliers of acetate so that more face shields can be produced.
Benito A. Baje, Physics Unit Coordinator and Makerspace-in-charge at PSHS-Central Visayas Campus said that they have a few issues with fabrication because of scarcity of materials. Their campus is far from Cebu City which strictly regulates travel due to the lockdown.
“In terms of workforce, good thing that some of our faculty members and staff responded to our call for assistance. So far, we have received requests for face shields from different sectors, which is why we are looking for materials and supplies to produce more face shields,” Baje added.
Interested donors may contact the following:
- Lilia Habacon
- Lawrence Madriaga
PSHS-SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus
- Chuchi Garganera
PSHS-Bicol Region Campus
- Lorvi Pagorogon
PSHS-Eastern Visayas Campus
- Erick John Marmol
Ilocos Region Campus
- Ronnalee Orteza
Central Visayas Campus
- Rachel Luz Rica
CARAGA Region Campus
- Ramil Sanchez
Southern Mindanao Campus
- Delia Legaspino
Safety of frontliners
“This started when I saw in the news that doctors and nurses are being also hit by COVID-19 because they lack Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). I began searching online about the market standard design of face shields. Then, I came across a Facebook page on 3D print-for-a-cause,” said Daga-as, an Arts and Design Technology teacher.
According to Daga-as, the SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus started producing face shields last March 19, after getting the go signal from Campus Director Chuchi Garganera to prioritize medical personnel.
“Considering that none of the doctors in Argao Hospital in Cebu have PPEs, we started designing and mass printing upon the approval of Campus Director Rachel Luz Rica,” Baje said.
The PSHS face shields will be donated to front line health workers in hospitals, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), city health units, ambulance teams for COVID-19 patient response, and security personnel at checkpoints.
The improvised face shield can be assembled using a 3D-printed frame to act as handle and support, and an acetate sheet to act as shield.
“It took 1.5 hours to finish one frame using the original design. I decided to redesign the frame until I came up with a final design that only took 36 minutes to print. It will save me time printing and save filament, the thermoplastic feedstock for fused deposition modeling 3D printers use,” Daga-as added.
To make the face shield frame, we need to slice the design into several horizontal layers, and this is done with a 3D-slicing software like Cura. After the design is ready, the file is uploaded to the 3D printer, where molten plastic is extruded through a tiny nozzle that moves around precisely under computer control. It prints one layer at a time to the top layer of the design,” Daga-as added.
“The estimated printing cost per face shield is P15.00 each, including the acetate and 3D-printed frame, plus the electricity, Daga-as added.
According to Bicol Region Campus Director Lorvi Pagorogon, her team is targeting to release 600 face shields for the first batch and to provide shield replacements.
“We have been in contact with doctors of Bicol Medical Center in Naga City and Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital in Legazpi City. Then, other provincial hospitals in Bicol shall follow, and they will check our design and give feedback on how they can better use the face shields,” Pagorogon said. – Rappler.com