A tech lab in Sharjah has been 3D-printing 25,000 face shields every week to meet the demand for protective gear as the UAE steps up its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Immensa Technology Labs - an engineering company at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) - has succeeded in developing, designing and producing a variety of face masks that can be used to prevent the coronavirus infection.
"One particularly effective personal protective equipment is the 3D-printed face shield, connected to a headband. The face shield or visor is made from a special polymer that repels viruses and bacteria," said Fahmi Al Shawwa, CEO and founder at Immensa Technology Labs.
When Immensa started production in March, they were 3D-printing more than 5,000 face shields per week. Now, the facility ramped up production to over 25,000 weekly, supplying to numerous public and private entities across the UAE, Al Shawwa said.
Unlike a face mask that is covering only the wearer's nose and mouth, the visor provides 180-degree protection for the face and also prevents the person from touching his face.
Besides face shields, the facility has also been 3D-printing connectors for ventilators, along with other items and spare parts for non-medical machinery, that are in short supply and have become hard to source because of the pandemic situation.
Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, lauded how Immensa has successfully innovated its business to support doctors, nurses and first responders, who are exposed to the virus. The additive manufacturing company provides 3D-printing services for a range of industries and usually focuses on spare parts for the oil and gas sector.
"The strategy adopted at SRTI Park has encouraged many companies at various local, regional and international levels to enter into partnerships with the complex. In such difficult crises, the true value of such strategies and visions appears," he said.
Al Mahmoudi added that this reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, in investing in the creative sector in the emirate, and his keenness to support institutions and centers of research and development.
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