An Irish tech company has designed 3D printable visors to protect healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calt Dynamics, based in Co Wicklow, began working on the prototype visor in response to the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare staff around the world and is now sharing its design with a major US manufacturer.
CEO Ross Lawless told the Irish Examiner: “Last week we saw there was a lack of PPE around the world so we thought it would be a good idea to put some designs down to see if we could make a 3D printable version.
Calt Dynamics, which was established in 2014 and has a subsidiary in Connecticut in the US, is one of the largest 3D printing companies in Ireland.
“We design and develop 3D printers and we also have a service for custom parts so we’re in a good position to be able to help."
The company has since donated prototypes of its 3D printed visors to a Dublin hospital in need of protective equipment.
“We’re waiting to hear back from the hospital and we’re willing to donate as many as we possibly can and do the rest at cost price. We want to make sure the hospital is happy with everything and we’ll liaise with them before we start producing more,” Lawless said.
“We’re putting in the design work to keep the costs down low so we’re hoping to produce them for a couple of euros each.
We've updated the design based on feedback from virologists. It's great to get input from these experts. The files are free to download at https://t.co/gCsC2L8Pi2— Ross Lawless (@rosslawlesscd) March 27, 2020
For people planning to make their own,check back for updates daily because the design is evolving.#covid19 #hselive pic.twitter.com/zYt6k4aDy4
“We’re working to optimize the designs so we can pump them out. We’re aiming to be able to make thousands of visors. Once we get the design finalized, we can pump them out as needed. We have the equipment here to make the entire face shield itself and even sterilize them,” he added.
The tech company is sharing its design with Stanley Black and Decker, a major US manufacturer.
“We're going to pass the design on to Stanley Black and Decker in the USA. They have huge production capacity. When we make the designs available, hopefully people with 3D printers in different regions can help out wherever they are needed,” said Lawless.
“We’re donating our time for this. We’re not going to charge anyone for designing this. It’s good to be able to help. If there was ever a time to help this is it. It’s really critical.”