Protective shields for frontline workers

BY online editor

I-Form, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research centre for for Advanced manufacturing is using its experience in 3D printing to provide PPE to frontline staff working at the health service across Dublin.

Since last Friday, 27th March the researchers together with engineering colleagues at UCD have answered the call for help coming from Tallaght hospital and began the production of face shields.

I-Form Researcher Dr Heather O’Connor prints a face shield

Dr. Andrew Dickson, postdoctoral researcher at I-Form said about the process: “Myself and my colleagues at I-Form and UCD spent all weekend in our lab – taking it in shifts to ensure social distancing – and by Sunday night we had produced 300 face shields for Tallaght University Hospital. Working as a team, we took existing designs and optimised them to produce one part every 17 minutes. As of today, we have produced and donated 600 face shields to frontline staff across Dublin.”  

Assembled face shields in the I-Form Lab at UCD

The director of I-Form Prof. Denis Dowling added that “Additive manufacturing (3D printing) is a highly adaptable technology that can be quickly harnessed to meet an immediate need. It enables local production at relatively low cost. As an SFI Research Centre, we are doing what we can to use our manufacturing expertise and infrastructure to help protect healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 on the frontline.”

Further projects under development and investigation at I-Form include the production of protective goggles and ventilator-related technological aids.

(pictures provided by Science Foundation Ireland)