3D printing might be seen as a new technology, but in recent months, 3D printing seems to have experienced an increase in popularity. That is because the COVID-19 outbreak that has made hospitals and health workers around the world short on protective equipment such as face shields, face masks.
In the midst of a critical shortage of protective equipment, a Filipino schoolboy is using his spare time wisely by creating dozens of plastic face shields with his home 3D printer to help medical workers. The 16-year-old Marcus Chu, from Manila, Philippines, has created more than 80 protective shields so far, which are used by medical personnel at risk of exposure to the highly contagious virus, due to the lack of protective equipment in the city.
Chu initially relied on open-source online designs, but eventually, he tweaked it so that his new design would use less material and be produced faster. Chu said the 3D printer is a Christmas gift “that came at the right time.” “I feel like it’s my opportunity to finally help in a very serious situation, even if it’s just in a little way,” said the 10th-grader, quoted by Reuters.
Chu is not alone in his efforts as there are other 3D printers around the world that are stepping up and helping produce face shields for doctors. Not only that, 3D printing is being used to produce respirator valves that are also very limited.