Volunteers donate 3D- printed face shields for frontliners

Aileen Cerrudo

MANILA, Philippines — There is an apparent shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply in the country amid its deadly battle with COVID-19.

Some private hospitals have resorted to using old linen as improvised masks due to the supply deficit.

And like an unexpected twist in a movie, a group of individuals banded together to help the country’s frontliners by providing PPEs through 3D printing.

“Ang paggawa ng mabuti ay hindi magbubunga ng masama, (Good deeds will bear no evil fruit)” Roniel Tamayo said.

Roniel is part of the 3D Printing For a Cause group in the Philippines where hobbyists and business owners use their 3D printers to make DIY face shields and face masks.

He recalled that they saw a video of 3D printers abroad being used to make oxygen bags for COVID patients.

“From there, siguro naka-isip iyong creator ng group na ‘Bakit hindi natin gawin iyan dito sa Pilipinas? Mag-print din tayo ng magagamit ng mga frontliners natin kasi kulang sila sa mga PPE’ (The creator of the group said, ‘Why not do that here in the Philippines? We should print items that can be used by our frontliners because they lack PPEs),” he said.

As of March 23, the group has received more than 13,000 face shield requests from hospitals, clinics, as well as from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Roniel said the group has fulfilled 2,123 requests with 15.25% fulfillment rate.

It is not yet half the total number of requests, but the group is facing another obstacle: lack of materials.

Roniel said due to the temporary closure of office supply stores, they are finding it difficult to find acetate that will be attached to the 3D-printed headbands to form the face shield for the frontliners.

The group is looking for anyone who wish to donate materials so that they could continue their cause.

“Sa mga mamamayan po na gustong tumulong or mag-donate, pwede po kayong mag-donate ng acetate, garter, foam, at iyong mga filament na siyang pangunahin namin ginagamit para sa pag-print nitong face shields, (For citizens who wish to help or donate, you may send acetates, garters, foams and filaments which we mainly use for creating face shields),” he said.

For volunteers contact Denis Ty at 09175908281 and for donations contact Ivan Listanco at 09177754993.-AAC

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