By Danny Estacio
CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – A laboratory at the Batangas State University (BSU) has been able to manufacture face shields, using 3D printed face bands and acetate films, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 4A.
According to DTI Region 4A Director Marilou Toledo, technicians at the Labspace for Innovation, Knowledge-Honing and Application (LIKHA) Fab Lab at the BSU, together with the her agency, have been able to produce the protective equipment for use of health workers in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We are strongly supporting the effort and initiative of LIKHA in developing innovative and effective solutions to help in combatting COVID-19. As we, in the DTI, work alongside with LIKHA, we are urging everyone, especially in the CALABARZON region, to support their very important work,” said Toledo.
“The supply of additional protective face shields is our way of solving the problem is the lack of PPE for our frontliners,” said LIKHA Fab Lab Center head Engr. Louie Villaverde.
Villaverde said they have already donated 130 face shields to Batangas Medical Center. They are also planning to provide more by producing 30-40 face shields a day that would be sent to different hospitals in Batangas, then later on to the hospitals in the CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region and to other frontline workers like personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The LIKHA team is composed of BSU President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, Vice-President for Research Development and Extension Services Engr. Albertson Amante, Villaverde, 2D/3D Designer Jo Louis Valencia, and Machine Operator Arvin Cedrick Gutierrez.
The team is currently working from home, operating at regular hours with eight 3D printers distributed in three locations.
Through rapid prototyping, a machine can print a face shield within an hour and 42 minutes, allowing them to produce a maximum of 48 face shields a day with their 8 3D printers, Toledo said
Villaverde noted that for now, they were in need for additional materials. Any donations or supplies of raw materials will be of great help.
The LIKHA Fab Lab, established on December 27, 2018, is a Shared Service Facility funded by the DTI 4-A where business enterprises engaged in top industries in the region such as furniture-related processes and electronics, can converge with modelers/designers to create and develop models or designs and make prototypes for mass production.
It is a digital fabrication that enables collaboration and promotes transparency among designers and modelers aided by computer-controlled machines.
Stored digital design using the sophisticated technology provides an array of services to help the whole furniture design and manufacturing team for detailed designs, analysis, documentation, and fabrication, Toledo added.