3D-printed vacuum-sealed Face Shields for health workers fabricated by Batangas State University

HSBC Philippines
Face shields Batangas State University
The Red Spartan Face Shields bands were initially printed using 3D technology and are now optimized using a vacuum forming machine. Photo from Engr. Louie Villaverde.

Face shields for health workers fabricated by a Batangas State University (BatStateU) laboratory using 3D printing technology have been optimized through a vacuum forming method that reduced production time to just 6 minutes per item.

The Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation and the Department of Trade and Industry-supported LIKHA FabLab of BatStateU first shared on March 22, 2020, that they were producing the Red Spartan Face Shields using 3D printed face bands and acetate films.

News about the project went around and led the university to produce more face shields as requests were received.

Each 3D printing machine produced an average of six face shields per day. It took one hour and 46 minutes to produce one. With eight machines in the school, they are able to produce 48 face shields per day.

On Friday, March 27, BatStateU again went on social media to share that they were able to reduce the production time to just 6 minutes.

The Optimized Vacuum Forming Method for fabricating Red Spartan Face Shield allowed the BatStateU FabLab to reduce the time of fabrication to 6 minutes per face shield as compared to the 1 hour and 46 minutes just using the 3D printing process.

The new process makes use of a 3D-printed Mold, a Vacuum Forming Machine, Acetate Films, staplers, cutters, scissors, and garters.

Face Shield vacuuming has reduced the production time to just 6 minutes instead of 1 hour and 46 minutes using just 3D printing. Screengrab from BatStateU video.

BatStateU Engr. Louie Villaverde provided the rationale for the innovation, saying that patients with COVID-19 experience significant respiratory issues, resulting in coughing, so virus particles are easily spread in the fluids expelled from the patient during episodes of coughing.

The face shield is an additional barrier between the healthcare worker and the patient and reduces the risk of viral transmission via airborne droplets.

Batangas State University continues to use its 3D printer and Vacuum Forming Machine. But with limited resources and supply of raw materials, the school is calling donations of raw materials for the fabrication of Red Spartan Face Shields:

MATERIALS:

  • 3D printer filament (PLA-type fro Ultimaker)
  • ABS sheet, Acetate / PVC sheets for vacuum forming machine

Below are some suppliers whom you can contact directly for this purpose.

Puzzlebox (3d printer supplier)
Mr. Clark Merano, 09663383175

ES Print Media, Inc. (ABS and Acetate)
Mr. Ron Mariano, 09177129190

Materials can be delivered thru courier directly to:

The Security Officer
Batangas State University
Golden Country Homes Subd.
Alangilan, Batangas City.
4200

Contact Person
Engr Albertson Amante
0917 562 0916

Engr. Louie Villaverde
0921 737 6341

We can always depend on Filipino traits of “abilidad and ingenuity” in times of difficulty and hardship. The Filipinos’ uncanny talent and capacity to bring forth amazing solutions and results to create whatever is needed even when left to fend for themselves and to make do with whatever resources and materials are available.

We hear stories coming from all over the country and on the social media of people putting together face shields and other personal protective equipment to fight against the COVID-19 scourge.

With very limited protective supplies available, thousands to millions of people are at risk especially front liners and our healthcare workers. Even World Health Organization representative to the Philippine Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe agrees that using do-it-yourself protective gear is better than nothing.

Though they do not offer 100% protection they still provide some degree of protection. “Any protection will be better than no protection”. She added that “It is unfortunate but people have to adapt and use do-it-yourself kits. WHO does not encourage this but this is a stop-gap measure as we address a global shortage.”

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Batangas State University for innovating on ways to provide personal protective equipment to our health workers in the frontline against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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