27 March 2020

Published also in Business Mirror

As the number of Covid-19 cases increases in the country, there is also an increasingly growing concern about the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our frontline workers.

Thus, the Labspace for Innovation, Knowledge-Honing and Application (LIKHA) Fab Lab of the Batangas State University (BatStateU), together with the Department of Trade and Industry Region 4A, is manufacturing face shields using 3D printed face bands and acetate films for our health workers as communities from makers and fab labs in and outside the Philippines are collaborating for this endeavor.

The LIKHA Fab Lab, established on December 27, 2018, is a Shared Service Facility (SSF) funded by the DTI 4A where business enterprises engaged in top industries in the region such as furniture-related processes and electronics, can converge with modelers/designers to create and develop models/designs, and make prototypes for mass production. It is a digital fabrication that enables collaboration and promotes transparency among designers and modelers aided by computer-controlled machines.

Stored digital design using the sophisticated technology provides an array of services to help the whole furniture design and manufacturing team for detailed designs, analysis, documentation and fabrication.

“The supply of additional protective face shields is our way of solving the problem in the lack of PPE for our frontliners,” said LIKHA Fab Lab Center Head Louie Villaverde.

According to Engr. Villaverde, they already donated 130 face shields to Batangas Medical Center. They are also planning to provide more by producing about 30 to 40 face shields a day to different hospitals in Batangas, then later on to the hospitals in the Calabarzon region and to other frontline workers like the Philippine National Police. The team is composed of BatStateU President Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, Vice President for Research Development and Extension Services Engr. Albertson Amante, head of LIKHA FabLab Engr. Louie Villaverde, 2D/3D designer Jo Louis Valencia, and Machine Operator Arvin Cedrick Gutierrez.

The team is currently working from home, operating at regular hours with eight 3D printers distributed in three locations. Through rapid prototyping, a machine can print a face shield within an hour and 42 minutes, allowing them to produce a maximum of 48 face shields a day with their eight  3D printers.Villaverde noted that for now, they are in need of additional materials. Any donations or supplies of raw materials will be of great help.

“We are strongly supporting the effort and initiative of LIKHA in developing innovative and effective solutions to help in combatting Covid-19. As we, in the DTI, work alongside with LIKHA, we are urging everyone, especially in the Calabarzon region, to support their very important work,” said DTI 4A Director Marilou Q. Toledo.“We are in the position to help others. Kahit maliit o malaki, ito ay tulong pa rin,” said Engr. Villaverde.

The Center for Technopreneurship and Innovation of the Batangas State University is accepting raw materials for fabrication of face shields:

  • Acetate or PVC Sheets, Size A4
  • Rubber Bands (natura)
  • 3D Printer Filament (PLA-type fro Ultimaker)
  • ABS Sheet and Acetate for Vacuum Forming Machine

Here are some suppliers that you can contact directly as it will be difficult for the Fab Lab to accept monetary donations:

  • Puzzlebox (3D Printer Supplier)

Mr. Clark Merano, 09663383175