The United Arab Emirates government has been extensively trying to find the most long term and effective solutions to help solve the global pandemic which has hit the nation. With the government mandating the compulsory use of PPE such as gloves and masks to all its citizens when they leave the house, a shortage was imminent if something was not done to up the production of PPE to match the growing demand for it.
However, an engineering and 3D printing firm at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) by the name of Immensa has stepped up to the challenge posed and found a way to meet the country’s supply to the best of it’s capabilities. With its effective 3D printing technology, the lab started off by printing special masks to be used by healthcare workers whilst they treat patients and majorly expose themselves to the contagious COVID-19 virus. Since March, when the lab was producing upwards of 5000 masks a week, they have since ramped up production to meet demands, and are producing around 25,000 masks a week to help facilitate both public and private sectors in the UAE.
With the newly emerging virus in mind, the mask is not the regular one used by most around the world, where it only covers the mouth and the nose, but is a 3D printed face shield which is connected by a headband. The added advantage of this newly developed face mask will be the shield itself, which is made from a special polymer that would repel any kind of viruses and bacteria. This is immensely useful as the bacteria of the virus is said to have the capability to survive on surfaces for around 72 hours at a time, making transmission a major cause for concern.
Alongside being better at protecting all of the face, it also prevents workers from touching their face, which is said to be another growing cause which spreads the bacteria further into your body through your mouth and nostrils. The masks are also low cost, with a production value of 10-15 AED and the production time of simply ten to twenty minutes.
With the increasing demand for facemasks and spread of the virus, the company has turned to give them for a lower cost to not only healthcare officials, but also to essential workers so that everyone gets to keep themselves safe and well protected.