Two young brothers are helping in the battle to produce more Covid-19 protective equipment by helping their father print 3D face shields.
Ollie Reilly, 13, and his 10-year-old brother George have produced more than 1,000 face shield frames guided by their dad, Mick Reilly, a chief technical officer in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin.
In response to the urgent public appeal for personal protective equipment (PPE), engineers from the university have deployed a number of their 3D printers to produce face shields for front line medical staff.
While access to Trinity is restricted, Mr Reilly took six of the school’s 3D printers to his home in Kildare.
Ollie, George and Mick have produced more than 1,000 face shield frames to date for a PPE hub and a further 300 full face shields, which have been donated to front line medical staff in hospitals, nursing homes and GP practices throughout Dublin and Kildare.
Mick said: “Having recently set up a very successful Makerspace and 3D printing facility in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering for our undergraduate students, it would have been a shame not to utilise our resources for this initiative.”
The face shield frames are printed in line with the PPE-Hub protocols, using PLA (Polylactic Acid) and PET-G thermoplastic filament materials, which are 100% recyclable and safe for skin contact.
The visor is made from 250 micrometre clear PVC transparent sheets, which have been donated by Codex Office Solutions.
The completed frames are collected by regional volunteers from Blood Bikes Ireland and delivered to a central assembly site at the Garryduff Sports Centre, Cork, where members of the Defence Forces are sanitising, assembling and packing the completed PPE face shields.
The face shields are currently in widespread use throughout the community across a number of care settings including community hospitals, nursing homes, paramedics, drug and alcohol services, community nursing and other services.
It is planned that more of Trinity’s 3D printers will be added to the production line to help meet anticipated future requirements.