Filipino student Marcus Chu shows his 3D-printed face shield frames at his home in Manila, Philippines. Picture: Gifford Chu/Handout via Reuters
Filipino student Marcus Chu shows his 3D-printed face shield frames at his home in Manila, Philippines. Picture: Gifford Chu/Handout via Reuters

PICS: Philippine teenager hopes his 3D printer can save coronavirus frontliners

By Adrian Portugal and Peter Blaza Time of article published Apr 2, 2020

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Manila - A schoolboy in the Philippines has been putting his free time to good use by making dozens of plastic face shields with his home 3D printer, in an effort to protect medical workers fighting a surge in coronavirus cases.

Marcus Chu, 16, has made more than 80 of the protective screens and has photographs of them being used by the frontline medical personnel at risk of exposure to the highly contagious virus, amid critical shortages of protective gear.

Chu said his 3D printer was a Christmas gift that came along just at the right time.

"I feel like it's my opportunity to finally help in a very serious situation, even if it's just in a little way," the 10th-grader said.

Filipino student Marcus Chu lifts the lid of his 3D printer while working on printing frames for his face shields at his home in Manila, Philippines. Picture: Gifford Chu/Handout via Reuters


He initially used an open-source design that he found on the Internet to manufacture shield frames, but eventually found a way to tweak the design to so that it can be produced faster and with less materials.

His family has donated the face shields to four different hospitals in Manila.

Health workers wear face shields made by Filipino student Marcus Chu at a hospital in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Picture: Gifford Chu/Handout via Reuters


More than half of the Philippines' 107 million population are on home quarantine. The coronavirus has been a big test of the country's already stretched health system and experts say the real extent of the spread is not yet known due to a slow rate of testing.

At least 13 medical personnel are among the 96 coronavirus deaths in the country, which had confirmed 2,311 cases as of April 1.

Filipino student Marcus Chu looks at his 3D printer while working on printing frames for his face shields at his home in Manila, Philippines. Picture: Gifford Chu/Handout via Reuters


Reuters

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