Once again, social media has proofed its role as the best promoter of positive movements amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This time, a movement initiated by academicians and FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory) in America has been trending throughout the social media with the hashtag #operationPPE (Operation Personal Protective Equipment) has inspired SoD UPH to take action. This movement is about producing PPE using prototyping technology. SoD UPH collaborates this idea with the advanced facilities in SoD UPH to produce and donate face shields to medical and non-medical personnel.
This movement has proofed that a collaboration of technology, humanism, and social media can lead to something positive. Social media is not just a place for people to post pointless comments, it can also be a place for people to channel their ideas and a funnel that can promote social movement.
Jacky Thiodore, S.Ars., M.Arch. – Coordinator for The Face Shield (PPE) donation movement, admitted that this movement was started from the same basis, humanism. Surely, with qualified facilities and quantity, this program can be accomplished. SoD UPH has 12 Maker Bots for 3D Printing which really optimize the face shield production process. In addition to that, the online campaign that was done to promote this movement has been proven to be effective—seeing from the 500 order for face shield in just 2 weeks.
Due to the online learning and teaching policy, which has been applied thoroughly in every faculty and program, there are currently no activities done in the UPH Campus. Jackie and his team view this opportunity as an opportunity to be more productive, and to utilize the facilities which are available in SoD UPH to create something even bigger.
“Along with the other 7 people, including lecturers and laboratory assistants, we did some intensive labor to finish PPE production for every batch. Starting from the big process, which uses the 3D Printing and Lasercut machines, manual labor, and also receiving and shipping orders, everything was done by the SoD team,” Jackie explained.
Jackie also added that the production of the PPE, SoD UPH adopts 2 designs from Cornell University and Form-operation, which should answer the need for a safe and comfortable product. Safe means that it covers the face, durable, and is easy to clean. Comfortable means that it is lightweight and is easy to use. Moreover, the face shield production also becomes an implementation of design theories such as the Rapid Prototyping technique. This technique is a fast fabrication of the physical part, model, or assembly using 3D computer-aided design (CAD). In Architecture UPH, this Rapid Prototyping technique was taught in the Digital Fabrication class which teaches students to use machines such as the 3D Printer, Lasercut, and CnC for their design production,” Jackie added.
Jackie also admitted that the SoD Face Shield production has not been clinically tested or has met any anti-infection requirements because the process itself takes quite a long time. However, the face shield that they produce consisted of materials that can be easily cleaned with alcohol. In addition to that, Jackie also recommends their product used to do constant cleaning. Nevertheless, Jackie said that their face shield has received positive feedback because its material and quality are quite reliable in a difficult time like this.
In an attempt to accommodate all of the incoming orders; with 500 orders in the first week, SoD UPH has donated 180 face shields to 2 Referral Hospitals, 8 Regional Hospitals, clinics, as well as communities, and individuals from various institutions. Jackie also added that this Free Face Shield PPE program is fully funded by UPH.
As a response towards this program, Dr. Martin Luqman Katoppo, S.T., M.T. – Dean of SoD UPH, claims that he is grateful for this initiative because it has proven SoD UPH’s commitment to turn its knowledge in design into solutions that can answer problems.
“This movement is SoD UPH’s contribution for the nation in this dire situation, and also a proof of our key values: to create impactful recovery, become the light and blessings for others, and to work together to support the government in this difficult time,” Martin stated.
Right now, we are in a situation where life is not functioning properly. In order to turn everything normal, all parts of the society should work altogether in facing this pandemic. Hence, UPH really appreciates all actions taken by the UPH community amidst this situation. So now, let us all work together to support our government, become a blessing, and the light even amidst this pandemic.