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BISU’s Fablab turns over anti-COVID face shields for medical frontliners

By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA-Bohol | 05:55 PM March 25, 2020
The acrylic plastic face shields for medical frontliners developed by Fablab. Photo: Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol

The Bohol Island State University and its Fabrication Laboratory (Fablab) hands in its first batch of laser printed acrylic plastic face shields for use by frontline medical professionals in the battle against the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19) March 25, at 2 p.m. inside the Fablab here in Tagbilaran City.

BISU, represented by its president Dr. Regucivilla B. Avenido- Pobar, Dr. Zina D. Sayson and their public relations officer Bernarda Villarojo, as well as Fablab center chief Jerome Manatad, turned over the first batch of 100 face shields to resident physicians of Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) which the state university put up to help the medical professionals in the front lines get the much needed protection from the virus.

Also in the turn-over were Provincial Disaster Risk reduction management Officer Anthony Damalerio and other BISU officials.

With the novel COVID-19 attacking the respiratory system transmittable when droplets from an infected person travels after he coughs or sneezes and gets to one’s face, or are brought up when one touches his face which brings the virus closer to the respiratory tracts, then the persosn’s trouble starts.

Made from laser-cut acrylic plastic and acetate, the face shield from FABLAB Bohol within BISU complex is the first industrial prototype set for mass production from developed from four early development prototypes, said FabLab Manager Manatad.

The shield in the form of an acetate which can be easily disinfected is attacked to a backbone of laser cut plastic acrylic.

The initial product developed prototypes were digitally printed and it took them a long time to make. Then they realized cutting an acrylic plastic into the computer designed headband is less costly and takes even a lesser time, adds Jerome Gabin of the local Department of Trade and Industry Bohol (DTI-Bohol) Shared Service Facility (SSF) coordinator, of which the Fablab is among them.

The mass produced face shields, now produced by five FabLab volunteers cost a little over a hundred, and they can make about 72 pieces of it from a single sheet of acrylic plastic as backbone for the shield, Dr. Sayson said.

BISU and FabLab each pooled resources and went into product development and prototype building until they perfected the less costly and faster to produce facial protection of medical professionals.

With production now in full steam, BISU Fablab is already taking requests for the face-shields.

That same day, BISU-Fablab also turned over 30 face shields for Clarin Community Hospital, while in their bulletin board are requests from Maribojoc Community Hospital, Bilar RH Center, Saint Jude Hospital, ACE Medical Center, Maternity Hospital, Civil Service Commission, RHU Cortes, BISU Clinic, BISU guard, Don Emilio del Valle Hospital, Ramiro Community Hospital, RHU Lila, RHU Talibon, RHU San Miguel, City DRRMO and PCCCED.

The acrylic plastic face shields for medical frontliners developed by Fablab. Photo: Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol

In the next batch, DTI Bohol is sourcing out the few acrylic plastic available, the material which would hold the acetate shield.

DTI, along with donations from well-meaning citizens envision to produce more face shields, even as Manated said there is no intent on selling these shields.

With social distancing measures implemented, Manatad said they would just keep their volunteers to the minimum, to make sure it is easy to space them out, especially when materials for the shield are also dwindling.

In times of crisis where face masks are also not easy to secure, volunteers like FabLab and donations or people can maybe cause people to feel the ease knowing there is a government that cares for them.

The acrylic plastic face shields for medical frontliners developed by Fablab. Photo: Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol

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