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How the 3D Printing Community in the Philippines

is Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 disease pandemic has become a fact since November last year, and until now it takes hold over the globe. Containment measures are being implemented to slow its spread such as travel restrictions of countries, social distancing measures, and work from home policies.

Up to date, the risks continue to pile with the upward slope of cases, not only for our frontline health workers, but for the military, pharmaceutical and food personnel as well, as they face the pandemic on a day-to-day basis. And despite the influx of donations coming in from big companies and joint efforts of the Local Government Units, there’s still a shortage of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for the frontlines. Fortunately, technology has one solution: 3D printing.

Makers and designers of the 3D printing community in the Philippines started an initiative called 3D Printing for a Cause PH – an online community in Facebook wherein several groups and individuals with 3D printers banded together to respond to the needs of the front liners amidst the COVID-19 quarantine, such as producing 3D printed face shields, ventilators, medical tubing and valves.

With feedback from medical professionals, the group was able to optimize a design for a 3D printed face shield. Once the frame of the face shield is 3D printed, a sheet of acetate and a piece of garter are attached to it. Although they cannot claim that these face shields are medical or industrial grade, the group has one goal in mind: to give our front liners a form of defense until industrial-level PPEs are finally made available to them. These are distributed for free directly to the front liners and are not for sale.

Norde International Distributors is taking part in this project as well. Some of our team members responded to the community by using their respective skills in 3D printing to ease the pressure on supply chains and to encourage other companies and folks with 3D printers to do the same.

Our team relies on the 3D Printing for a Cause PH community of members who actually have their own personal stock of materials for 3D printing. As for the acetates and garters, some volunteers were able to procure and get donations from the social media campaigns of the community. Although procurement and logistics have been difficult, the group is hoping that as they grow, they can find more supplies and find support for transporting the donations from city to city.

The 3D Printing for a Cause PH group is still encouraging people, whether they are FabLabs, 3D enthusiasts, and hobbyists, to take part in this project to relieve the shortage of PPEs. The group shares an open-source design and instructions on how to make a face shield. Those interested can refer to below:

 

 

It is indeed very encouraging to see that 3D printers are slowly becoming more relevant to the society, especially in this time of need and selflessness.

We would like to stress that 3D Printing for a Cause PH is not a group headed by a single individual or Norde International Distrbutors, but rather it is a collective effort of the 3D printing community.