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Report: Volunteers with 3D printers can produce face masks, shields

KUALA LUMPUR (March 24): A group of volunteers claims they can produce personal-protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and face shields via 3D printers.

Belonging to the global movement Project Open Air, The Malaysian Insight reported that its members are “pooling ideas and sharing skills to fight the coronavirus pandemic”.

A member of the movement based in Kuching, Kenneth Chai, said the prototype was designed by a European member of Project Open Air who then shared the knowledge with members from other parts of the world.

The face masks that Chai’s Sarawak group can manufacture are N95, HEPA and P100 rated, and meets Malaysian health safety standards, reported the news portal.

“They [members] share their designs and data online and any member in the group can pick it up and use them, and even mass produce them.

“The request from Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching right now is for face masks with filters, the ones used by doctors, nurses and health workers who are directly handling patients with highly infectious diseases, like Covid-19.

“And they are also asking for face shields,” Chai told The Malaysian Insight.

Chai reveals that he has test data on the effectiveness of the masks and shields and his group are willing to share the data with doctors and medical experts.

Some doctors have tested the items and they said the masks are safe and comfortable to use, Chai claimed.

And that’s not all, Chai’s Sarawak-based Open Air members are also planning to replicate ventilators used by COVID-19 patients

Chai said the ventilators are Italian-designed and have been tested in hospitals there.

“A ventilator at the Sarawak General Hospital would cost RM200,000 each. Ours produced from the 3D printer is RM100,” he said.

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