When it comes to the COVID-19 crisis, innovation and engineering has rallied to support our medical services from all corners of the globe.

One such instance has taken place in Dublin. The Tallaght University has formed a group comprising of engineers and technical staff to help contribute to the fight against COVID-19.  

One of the symptoms for COVID-19 is a cough, which causes the patient to expel tiny droplets of water carrying the virus into the air and can contaminate those close by, if not protected. Knowing that there is a limited supply of face masks, their goal was to look at a way to make equipment that would benefit the healthcare professionals and protect them on the frontline.

Working with 3D printers, they identified a way of making face shields that would sit over the medical staff’s N95 masks. This would not only help to protect the wearer’s eyes, but also prolong the use of the mask, reducing the demand. 

An N95 mask or respirator has a 95% efficiency of filtering out non-oil contaminants, from a minimum size of .3 microns, and is being widely used in hospitals.

How did RS get involved? 

When Gustavo Franchi, Technical Sales and Innovation Support at RS Ireland, heard about this effort he was keen to help and contacted the University to offer RS’ support.

Working with the Tallaght University, Gus obtained open source code to 3D print face shields and using an Ultimaker 3D Printer, set about creating the supporting structure and the PET cover.  The team then sprayed each part with antiseptic and individually packaged them to avoid contamination.

So far, the team have delivered over 500 face shields per week to Tallaght University Hospital, and some also going to other healthcare facilities up and down the country including St James’ and Naas General.

“There’s a role for everyone to play in the fight against this pandemic,” said Gustavo, “I’m just glad that the RS Team were able to contribute, alongside others, in supporting our health service”.

Following this, similar activities have been rolled out via the RS teams in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.  Inspired by what the Irish team had achieved. Gus has provided some training via video calls to enable them to get set up and running with the printers.

RS Ireland is open and fully operational for business, with the website showing live pricing and stock levels. You can still click and collect orders from the RS trade counter in Rialto.

For more information see ie.rs-online.com, or call the customer services on 01 415 3100 who will be happy to help. 

RS Ireland are proud to help support the effort against Covid-19, RS is by your side!