DOST accelerates production of more face shields for Covid-19 frontliners

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The 3D printed face shields ready for delivery. (S&T Media Service)

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is putting to high gear the production of more face shields for frontliners battling the Covid-19 pandemic as it engages the expertise of its two research and development institutes (RDIs) and one state university research laboratory by using injection mold and 3D-printed face shields.

The DOST Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) is now mass producing the face shields as it fabricated an injection mold that can make 2,500 face shields a day.

The DOST-MIRDC, led by Executive Director Engr. Robert O. Dizon, started producing face shields through the Additive Manufacturing Center which 3D machines printed the face shields at 50 pieces a day.

The institute’s technology partners made possible the increased production volume of the face shields. They are Omnifab, which fabricated another injection mold, and Megasamsotite Plant in San Pedro, Laguna, which offered its facility 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 RDI, has already 3D printed 100 pieces of face shields that were delivered to the Philippine Heart Center.

The agency, led by ITDI Director Dr. Annabelle V. Briones, worked 24 hours to produce the face shields. More will be produced by the Philippine Science High School Main Campus with the materials provided by ITDI.

The Bataan Peninsula State University-Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory (BPSU-Amrel), a project funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development, led by 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 this process can be used as well for other items that needs 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 frontliners 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 frontliners through research and development,” Guevara said.

Source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/04/07/dost-accelerates-production-of-more-face-shields-for-covid-19-frontliners/

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