ISM’s Design Technology Department Fights Against Coronavirus

face shields BT Issy Po-01 (1)Writer: Lara G.

Visual: Issy P.

Editor: Chris D.

Many members of the ISM community have been helping others during this difficult time, from starting fundraisers like ISM Artists for COVID-19, to making cards for patients confined in hospitals. ISM’s Design Technology (DT) department has been producing face shield holders to help protect Metro Manila’s medical community from the coronavirus.

Marcus Chu, a Grade 10 student who initiated this project, said that he derived  the idea from a Facebook post asking for 3D printer filament donations. “My dad’s friend, Erik Lacson, started to spearhead this idea of 3D printing face shield holders for the frontliners. Considering I just got a 3D printer from my parents for Christmas, I realized that I could 3D print them myself, then hand them over to the people who were distributing them to the frontliners.”

A face shield is a piece  of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that a frontliner would place on their head to protect them from pathogens. Marcus and ISM’s DT department have been 3D printing the holders (green in the photo below) and attaching them to  A4 sized pieces of acetate.

Marcus initially used a standard open-source design. Realizing that the process was consuming too much time and the design was using excessive amounts of filament, he decided to create his own design. “With my dad’s help, after 12 prototypes, I managed to make a design that was faster to print and used much less filament than any other design I have seen. Despite it being based off of the first design, the end product looked quite different.“

The material being used by Marcus is PLA, which is a biodegradable plastic, while ISM’s DT department has been using ABS. Mr. Anderson, Mr. Dingrando, Ms. Gough and Mr. Strycharske are working together and have been producing face shields for the last 3 weeks. They have also tested out alternative materials, namely birch plywood and acrylic.

Marcus has 3D printed over 200 face shield holders to date. ISM’s DT department has 3D printed over 150 face shield holders and produced 40 birch plywood and 90 acrylic versions. “The goal was to make 30K, but due to decreasing demand for this product, it is very likely that this goal is almost satisfied,” said Marcus. 

The face shields Marcus and ISM’s DT department create are being distributed to various hospitals in Metro Manila through Meta-Tech Lab. The company has set up a 3D Printer Farm in UPD (University of the Philippines Diliman) College of Engineering, where a collection of 15 3D printers have  been mass-producing face shield holders. With this  3D Printer Farm, they expect to produce about 150 face shield holders per day.

So far plenty of people who have 3D Printers are making face shield holders, some from other provinces such as Bacolod, etc. As more people began to put their resources in, more holders were produced,” added Marcus.

Marcus’s actions show how much taking initiative can truly aid our frontliners during these difficult times. Everything helps, no matter how big or small.