M'sian Turns Dining Room Into A 3D Printing 'Factory' For Face Shields To Help Frontliners

Vishan Nair said it took him and his family four weeks to finish assembling 1,000 face shields.

Cover image via Instagram @shannair

As the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, a Malaysian has decided to support local frontliners by producing 1,000 face shields from his home

In a contributed story published in Metro UK, Vishan Nair reportedly turned his dining room in his house into an assembly station for some 1,000 face shields he produced with a 3D printer.

Face shields are part of the headgear in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

After Vishan learned from several viral social media posts that some frontliners were forced to use makeshift face shields at hospitals to protect themselves from COVID-19, he decided to put his 3D printer to good use.

Image via Metro UK

Vishan said one face shield costs about GBP0.80 (approximately RM4.30) and takes an hour to produce

In the beginning, Vishan - who has a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sheffield - self-funded the project with help from his family.

However, as the demand for face shields soared, many kind-hearted Malaysians started donating to a team Vishan is part of, which consists of 18 volunteers.

As of 30 March, Vishan and his team has distributed over 6,000 face shields to 40 different hospitals and health clinics across Malaysia.

"We all work from our homes and it takes roughly 40 minutes to print each shield, and another 20 minutes to punch holes into the acetate sheets and assemble a finished product," said Vishan.

"In my home, it has been very much a DIY family effort: my dad punches holes, my mum rounds off the corners of the visors, and my 13-year-old brother joins me in the assembly stage."

He said all of his family members are eager to help and the project has brought his family closer to each other.

Vishan said he and his family made 1,000 face shields over the course of four weeks, and they were delivered to hospitals via Grab.

Image via Metro UK

A note Vishan wrote to the frontliners.

Image via Instagram @shannair

Other than his 18-member team, Vishan is also in a bigger group that consists of 140 PPE builders

According to him, the members gather in a WhatsApp group and everyone helps each other by sharing advice and feedback about the 3D prints.

"It is an incredibly collaborative environment. I've made friends from the medical field, from doctors and nurses to administrators of medical institutions," shared Vishan.

"This experience has shown me the best of humanity. It transcends race, religion, and culture."

He added that the nationwide effort has produced over 300,000 face shields to the frontliners.

This is not the first time Vishan has made headlines.

In June last year, he led a University of Sheffield rocket team to great heights, coming out on top in the world's largest rocket engineering competition held in New Mexico, US.

Vishan receiving an award presented by then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in December 2019.

Image via Instagram @shannair

His team managed to launch a rocket - named  'Helen' - to a height of 11.056km, beating the former record held by Project MARS, whose rocket flew to the height of 10.539km in 2000, reported The Star.

In December last year, Vishan also received an Excellence Award, which recognises Malaysians' outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the nation. The award was presented by then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

He said he hopes to return to the UK to undertake a PhD in Rocket Propulsion when the Movement Control Order (MCO) ends.

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