Monday, April 27, 2020

IRRI joins local communities in COVID-19 response via 3D printing

IRRI 3D printer printing face shield frame. Video by Claire Sandro.

To support the local government in making communities COVID19-free, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), through its Mechanization and Postharvest Cluster (MPHC),  facilitated 3D printing services for several frontliners in Laguna, Batangas, and Mindoro, Philippines. 

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has resulted in the fast depletion of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed by healthcare professionals, putting a great strain on the medical supply chain. To help bridge the gap and assist in reducing the risk of infection among frontliners, IRRI-MPHC has repurposed their 3D printer, which was initially utilized in the fabrication of agricultural machinery spare parts, to construct face shield frames.

Since 25 March, Engr. Joseph Sandro of IRRI-MPHC has printed 179 face shield frames using the 3D printer provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)* and the face shield design shared by Engr. Joseph Alfred Garcia of MIRDC-DOST. The frames were distributed by the IRRI Safety and Security Services office and the 3D Printing for a Cause PH (3DP4AC) Laguna Patriots to IRRI Security personnel and healthcare professionals in Laguna, respectively. IRRI-MPHC also donated 16 rolls of filaments, with an estimated yield of 35 frames per roll, according to 3DP4AC.

As of 24 April, the coordinated efforts of IRRI-MPHC and 3DP4AC-Laguna Patriots have supplied some hospitals in Sta. Cruz, Bauan, Bay, among others, with face shields and ear guards.

To donate materials (e.g., filaments, acetate sheets, etc.), 3D printing services, or request for 3D-printed supplies, please coordinate with 3D Printing for a Cause PH or contact Ben Paul dela Cruz.

*The 3D Printer was provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of the “Innovative Technology to Improve Farmer Livelihoods with 3-D Printing: The Future of Agricultural Machinery Servicing” project.


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