IndPrint: Positive About Print
To help address the lack of protective equipment for doctors and other workers who are exposed to the risk of viral infection on a daily basis, Y Soft Corporation is using its 3D printers to produce protective face shields and binder strips for hospitals across the world.
The face shields – which are being produced using the Y Soft be3D eDee printers, designed for the education sector – are being donated for free to hospitals to help protect medical workers. Y Soft is currently producing around 500 of the shields per day, which can be re-sterilised. The plastic face shields use a piece of shaped plastic to cover the face and a 3D printed ‘frame’ is used to connect the plastic shield, with a simple rubber strap to affix it to a person’s head.
In the UK, Y soft is currently supplying three hospitals with the face shields: University Hospital Bristol, Devon Partnership NHS Trust and UHCW NHS Trust.
‘The world was not prepared for the current situation. While we cannot handle massive production, it turns out that everyone can voluntarily contribute their own efforts. That is why we got involved as a company. Our office workers around the world also use affordable 3D printers to print protective equipment for healthcare professionals. It is a way to help people in hospitals. I am extremely proud of how YSofters have come together to do this kind of work without prompting from anyone. We are in this together,’ said Y Soft founder Václav Muchna.
He continued, ‘Our manufacturing isn’t outfitted for ongoing mass production, but clearly a little bit from everyone can help. We see the contribution as a small and simple step to helping the global pandemic.’
The design of the frame itself is from another 3D printer manufacturer and has evolved over time based on feedback and on how hospitals are asking the shields to be delivered. Y Soft is already working on version 3.0 of the face shields and is now focusing on optimising production so that they can be produced even faster.