Two Singaporean youths support the region’s fight against COVID-19 by manufacturing face shields for frontliners

Daphne Ting and Chi Jie are making use of their 3D printing company, Siege Advanced Manufacturing, to aid frontliners across the region.

Esther Lam

Published: 22 April 2020, 8:55 PM

Frontliners constantly risk their health and safety as they tend to COVID-19 patients.

This is made worse by the shortage of personal protective equipment around the world. Certain countries have resorted to using trash bags or cling wrap to protect their frontliners due to a shortage of equipment and a lack of necessary resources.

After reading reports of neighbouring countries being ill-equipped to combat the virus, two young Singaporeans who run their own 3D printing startup felt that they had to do something to help the situation around the region.

“We wanted to do our part to fight COVID, and since we have a big 3D printing capacity, we realised that we can make good use of it. While otherWestern countries have a similar initiative, they are focused on manufacturing only for the Western parts. We wanted to do it for our own region, for Singapore and nearby countries,” said Daphne Ting, 26.

“Since we have the technology to do our part for our region, we decided to convert the majority of our printing capacity to this initiative.”

Through Siege Advanced Manufacturing, Daphne and Chi Jie, 27, created face shields and initiated a local donation startup to help neighbouring countries in combating COVID-19.

They held constant discussions with neighbouring countries to deliver face shields mainly via air freight.


Face shields meant to protect doctors, nurses and frontline healthcare workers from potentially transmitting COVID-19. PHOTO CREDIT: SIEGE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING


Currently, over 1,826 face shields have been donated in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Locally, over 200 face shields were delivered to hawker personnel, while in the Philippines, over 300 face shields were shipped to healthcare institutions.

“We have contacted more hospitals in Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. So far, we have shipped to Malaysia, while the other countries’ are still tentative and in discussion. We also donated to local entities here in Singapore,” said Daphne.


Face shields are also delivered to other countries not equipped to face the virus. PHOTO CREDIT: SIEGE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING


The face shields, as its name suggests, are designed to shield its users’ face from being exposed to the virus which spreads primarily through respiratory droplets.

“These face shields act as a layer of protection to prevent bodily droplets (such as vomit, sneezes, sweat etc.) from being in contact with the frontline worker’s face,” said Daphne.


Siege Advanced Manufacturing uses their own 3D printers to manufacture most parts for the face shields while the rest are from external sources. PHOTO CREDITS: SIEGE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING


For the design they are producing, the face shields are worn on the head with an elastic band at the back to keep it in place. The transparent visor blocks droplets from the wearer’s face.

It is made up of four separate parts. There are two 3D printed parts, a plastic sheet and an elastic band. The 3D printed parts of the face shields are manufactured via the 3D printers the company owns, which has the capability of manufacturing products up to 20,000 in quantity each time.

The remaining materials, such as plastic sheets and bands, are sourced externally and assembled manually.

The cost of each face shield is estimated to be around $6. However, Daphne and Chi Jie made the decision to deliver the face shields for free.

The duo are also updating their donors via their crowdfunding pagewebsite, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Daphne and Chi Jie have shown that their hearts and strong desires were all they needed to make a difference. Even as COVID-19 continues to affect everyone, they found a way to offer a helping hand to those in need – though they were not required to do so.

“Our goal is to protect the frontliners, just like how they have been protecting us all. We hope that the face shields give them added protection while they battle this crisis!” Daphne said.

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