By: Khairul Anuar Muhamad Noh
SERDANG, March 28 – Volunteers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) consisting of two lecturers and a student have taken the initiative to produce face shields in their house for the needs of frontline workers combating the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in a few hospitals in the Klang Valley.
The project to produce face shields was initiated by Ts. Dr. Mohd Shahrizal Dolah, Dr. Saiful Hasley Ramli and a postgraduate student, Mohd Firuz Mohd Anwar. All three are from the Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Design and Architecture (FRSB), UPM and started the project since March 25.
According to the group leader, Ts. Dr. Mohd Shahrizal Dolah, they are volunteers who use their own expenses and remaining materials contributed from the research grants of other lecturers, Siti Mastura Ishak, Fabian Husna and Dr. Velu Perumal.
He said their group had also received donated equipment from a non-governmental organization (NGO), 3D Printing Malaysia Community for COVID 19 (Group), which also distributed the equipment to other volunteers who were doing the printing work at home.
“Among the hospitals that received contributions of face shields designed by the team were Teaching Hospital UPM (HUPM) which served as the Covid19 test laboratory to detect early cases, Serdang Hospital and Kajang Hospital.
“The three of us have been busy and were only able to produce 45 pieces of face shields a day. To date we have produced 180 pieces of face shields which have been distributed to the hospitals.
"Initially the products from our group were delivered to hospitals involved in small quantity based on demand but over time the demand increased, and all groups involved with 3D Printing Malaysia Community provided face shields in designated hospitals," he said.
Dr. Shahrizal said the materials used in the production of face shields were 3D printing plastics, PLA and ABS, to make reusable frame covers, 80gram book cover plastic (for front cover), glue, tape and elastic rubber.
“To produce one face shield would take an hour and a 3-dimensional printing machine could produce as many as 15 pieces a day. We work from home using the concept of Internet of Thing (IoT) in which all printing data is shared using cloud which is downloadable.
“Currently, the three of us are using three 3-dimensional printing machines in our house and have production assistance from the Selangor 3D printing team. However, if we were able to use a laser cutter, the face shields would be produced faster,” he said.
He added that demand from health clinics and private hospitals is always high and the estimated demand for the whole of Malaysia is about 5,000 pieces a day as cases increase.
"It is hoped that more volunteers will take the initiative to produce face shields in facing the third wave of Covid-19," he said.
Date of Input: 31/03/2020 | Updated: 31/03/2020 | hairul_nizam
UNIVERSITI PUTRA MALAYSIA
43400 UPM SERDANG