Kon10Innovation devised 3D-printed face shield and nebuliser spacer for COVID-19 frontliners

UTAR’s Unovate Centre Start-up incubatee, Kon10Innovation, is helping COVID-19 frontliners by creating 3D-printed face shields for additional protection. These 3D-printed face shields are the ingenious work of innovative four UTAR Engineering students who have set-up a small start-up and contributed their time and creativity to support the healthcare frontliners. Kon10Innovation is a registered enterprise with Lim Kai Wen as its leader and founder. The other team members consist of Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science students Lim Tyng Xian, Sin Chia Ling and Ooi Hsin Yein.

Lim modelling the 3D-printed COVID-19 face shield

Kon10Innovation team members felt that they needed to do something for all the dedicated medical staff and enforcement officers who were out there battling COVID-19. “We thought maybe we can contribute to help the community by providing simpler designs with shorter printing time and more adaptations to accommodate the sponge feature on the face shield after watching a Facebook post from the Malaysian community group who started the 3D-printed face shield,” said the team members.

The team has also been receiving feedback from multiple users and health practitioners. Lim said, “The challenge was to make simple designs while reducing the production time. Aside from that, there were alterations made to meet users’ feedback and to accommodate the aspect of comfort and safety. In a day, we can produce approximately 150 pieces of 3D-printed face shield. It takes 22 minutes to print and less than 30 seconds to assemble the face shield. Currently, the face shields are distributed to Klinik Kesihatan, Hospital Kuala Kubu Bharu, Manipal Hospital Klang and others.”

Beside creating 3D-printed face shields, Kon10Innovation took another step further by creating a nebuliser spacer. The team members realised that hospitals were using bottles with cut-ends as a temporary alternative due to the shortage of equipment, hence they created a nebuliser spacer using three 3D-printed parts which include a 0.2mm 3D-printed film and a bottle bought from the local mart.

Nebuliser spacer

“Through some studies, we found out that most COVID-19 patients are affected by lung inflammation. An anti-inflammatory drug called salbutamol is used to reduce the inflammations in the lungs; a small amount is sprayed for the patients to inhale. During this process, the drug often gets trapped in the patient’s throat and bronchus, therefore only a minimal amount of drug reaches the lungs. Therefore, a nebuliser spacer is used to contain and space out the drug with a proper mixture of air to allow patients to intake the air-mixed drug properly. Additionally, a valve is used to ensure that the drug travels one way to avoid backflow when the patient coughs,” said Lim.

Lim added, “There are industries who have volunteered to sponsor in terms of fabrication of moulds to accommodate plastic injection by using polycarbonate. With this access, we will be able to produce roughly 6,000 – 8,000 units which can be distributed nationwide. Our face shield designs are also in the stage of implementing plastic injection to accommodate hundreds to thousands of production rate per day.”

“I think Malaysians should think out of the box and use any kind of knowledge they may have to help out with the current situation. We believe that technologies such as 3D printing and open-source programming are easily accessible by the society and we should utilise them to provide more ideas and solutions,” enthused Lim.

The final products printed using 3D printers

Besides giving importance on acquiring information and knowledge, UTAR also focuses on developing UTARians who are creative, dynamic, practical and effective in wealth creation. Thus, Unovate Centre was created to foster an entrepreneurial culture in the campus and also to nurture and accelerate the successful development of young businesses or start-ups during their early years.

Kon10Innovation is an innovative start-up company, formed by a group of students from various fields, namely mechatronics engineering, product designing and programming. Kon10Innovation provides engineering solution and prototyping services to start-ups and entry-level industries. They also provide industrial automation design and precision scale modelling services. Kon10Innovation aims to design human integrated robotics in the future for the medical field, construction and logistics. Some of Kon10Innovation’s clients are BoomGrow, Daikin, GogoKids and more.

Kon10Innovation founding members (from left): students Lim Kai Wen, Lim Tyng Xian, Sin Chia Ling and Ooi Hsin Yein

The 3-D printed face shield

Wholly owned by UTAR Education Foundation Co. No. 578227-M        LEGAL STATEMENT   TERM OF USAGE   PRIVACY NOTICE