Shifting to high gear in supporting the Philippines’ front-liners in battling the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Science and Technology accelerated its production of face shields to be distributed in various hospitals in the country.
Two research and development institutes of DOST and one research laboratory in a state university have devoted their resources in creating 3D printed face shields.
The DOST Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC), led by its Executive Director Engr. Robert O. Dizon, is now doing mass production of face shields as it fabricated an injection mold that can make 2,500 face shields per day.
MIRDC started producing face shields through the Additive Manufacturing Center (AMCen) which 3D printed the face shields at 50 per day.
Increased production volume of these face shields is made possible through the DOST-MIRDC’s technology partners: the Omnifab, which fabricated another injection mold; while the Megasamsotite Plant in San Pedro, Laguna offered its facility as site for mass production. Another 2,500 face shields can be produced, for a total of 5,000 face shields daily through simultaneous productions at the DOST-MIRDC in Bicutan, Taguig, and in San Pedro, Laguna.
The Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), another DOST research and development institute, has already 3D printed 100 pieces of face shields which were delivered to the Philippine Heart Center.
Led by ITDI Director Dr. Annabelle V. Briones, the agency worked 24 hours to produce the face shields and more will be produced by the Philippine Science High School Main Campus with the materials provided by ITDI.
Bataan Peninsula State University – Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (BPSU-AMREL), a project funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development and led by its Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit, has created a process that combines 3D printing and injection molding in creating face shields at a faster pace but in a more customizable manner.
AMREL Project Leader Dr. John Ray Dizon said they are looking at the process of using 3D printing, for creating customizable molds, and injection molding, for mass production of the face shields.
He said that this process can be used as well for other items that need customization but in a smaller quantity.
DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara revealed that the agency has found innovations to decrease the production time of face shields, a vital component in protecting front-liners facing the global pandemic.
“As we make change happen through research and development, we find ways in helping out our new heroes facing Covid-19. We shall continue to look for better means to support our front-liners through research and development,” she said. (DOST Media Services)