A team from the Higher Technical School of Architecture (ETSA), the Faculty of Fine Arts and the Institute of Heritage Restoration (IRP) from Valencia’s Polytechnic University (UPV) is working, thanks to the collaboration of the Territorial School of Architects of Valencia (CTAV), in the mass manufacturing of protection screens for healthcare staff exposed to COVID-19, through semi-industrialised serial casting techniques. The CTAV contributes economically to manufacturing this equipment.
The team has developed a silicone model for the visor whose matrix is printed in 3D, so that the manufacturing can be done in an artisan way, but in mass, half way between individualised and industrialised manufacturing.
“With this system and using four models per person, the availability of this equipment for the protection of staff who needs it in the current emergency situation is greatly sped up. Its benefits are the high manufacturing speed with little staff and the use of non-porous material that is more resistant to impact and cleaning, as well as the sheet of PVC being welded to the visor. Currently, we could produce between 1,500 and 2,000 screens every day. The prototypes have already been tested in several Valencian healthcare centres,” says José Luis Alapont, researcher from the IRP Institute and professor at the ETSA of the UPV.
From the ai2 Institute, with 3D printing
Meanwhile, the ai2 Institute of the UPV has also taken part in the manufacturing of protection screens, in this case with 3D printing.
“We will print as many visors as we can while there is a need, and always adapting to what we are told by the healthcare authorities. The entire ai2 team is focused on helping as much as we can and thus provide our grain of sand to the fight against COVID-19,” says Francisco Blanes, director of the ai2 Institute of the UPV. To date, the ai2 team has produced over 1,000 protection masks, which they have made available to the healthcare staff.