The director of the Pinheiro e Rosa School Group (AEPROSA), Francisco Soares, explained to the agency Lusa that the decision to put the programming and robotics club of the group to work on the production of face protection visors was taken at the proposal of the club coordinator, who delivered the first units to the Hospital and University Centre of the Algarve (CHUA), for professionals to test the model.
“We live in a historic, unhappy and unprecedented moment, at least in our memory. And looking at countries so close, like Italy or Spain, we realize that there is no health system that is prepared to face such a calamity”, said the official.
Francisco Soares underlined that reality has shown that “the Italian system itself, which is much more robust than the Portuguese system, has not been able to provide the appropriate response” to the number of cases of infected people, while “Spain is taking a similar path”.
“And we, in Portugal, who, fortunately, do not yet have the size of the tragedy equal to theirs, have to be careful. We know that there is a lack of equipment, namely those that can prevent contagion, and that is what we can collaborate on, because as we have a programming and robotics club, we once acquired a 3D printer”, he said.
According to the group's director, the club's coordinator, Orlando Mendonça, proposed the possibility of making, “even if experimentally, some type of protective equipment, namely these visors”.
Francisco Soares said that he immediately gave the initiative a “green light” and placed the available budget in the grouping at the service of this work, the initial model having already been improved, after the professionals who tested the equipment had made “suggestions for alteration and improvement, to be more comfortable, because they are used for many hours”, he justified.
“We are already in production and we made a news call for anyone who had this type of equipment to contact us and be able to enrich our production chain, to prevent the transmission chains from taking paths like the ones we have seen throughout Europe” he added.
The 3D printer being used has a production capacity that, according to the director, "may not be above 15 a day".
For this reason, the group asked for support so that whoever had more printers and the material necessary for their production would contact and show their availability, sending a telephone contact to the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“As a school we feel the need to be proactive in this battle, which is national and global,” he said, citing the current cost of producing each visor at “less than two Euros”.
Among the equipment requested by the group from volunteers and suppliers to increase production capacity, “free or at a fair price”, are printer filaments, a type of plastic, rubber bands, double-sided adhesive tape and plate sponges.
For more information on specifying the required material, an email message can be sent to the address email@example.com.