Lecturers and students making visors for hospital

By Mary Dennehy

A CHARITY based at TU Dublin - Tallaght is using 3D printers to make much  needed visors for ICU medical teams as they care for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Established in 2005, 3D Assist prints 3D prosthetic arms for children - who are given the new, customised limb for free.

3D Assist TUH compressor

Staff in Tallaght University Hospital receiving the visors, goggles and bibs

The team, which is made up of volunteer graduates, lecturers and students, is now working remotely – with seven 3D printers on the go “around the clock” in a number of team members’ homes.

In the past week, more than 200 visors have been printed and delivered to Tallaght University Hospital for the ICU team.

Visors will also be made and delivered to a number of other hospitals, including St James’ and Naas General.

Speaking with The Echo from his home, Chris Keogh, Technical Officer of Mechanical Engineering at TU Dublin-Tallaght, said: “We got a call to say hospitals were in trouble.

“So, the team took the seven 3D printers home and we’ve been printing visors since last Thursday from an existing design.

“We’re printing a week now, pretty much around the clock… and have printed around 200 at this stage.”

3dvisoriPiccy collage compressor

(Left) The finished visor printed by TU Dublin lecturers and students, (Right) The visors before they are printed

He added: “We’ve given them to Tallaght University Hospital so far, and they’ve went straight into ICU.

“We’ve done two drop-offs to Tallaght now.

“It’s easy work for us but helps [medical teams] a lot.

“We’re just going to keep printing and printing, and sending them straight into ICU.”

A donation of gloves, bibs and goggles was also delivered to TUH by the college’s Engineering department and School of Science.

Chris wished to thank company Radionicks, which 3D Assist buys materials from throughout the year.

“Radionics (or RS Ireland) has donated materials to 3D Assist [to make the visors] and they’re also running three printers themselves”, Chris said.

“Thanks have been extended to Community Policing Unit in Tallaght which delivered the visors to Tallaght University Hospital.

Chris also thanked all of the members of 3D Assist, including Robbie O’Connor and Elaine McGeough, who lead the team with Chris.

3D Assist is based on the TU Dublin – Tallaght campus, with the college supporting the charity through the provision of space and lab facilities.

When asked how the team feels being able to make a difference to medical staff and their patients, Chris said: “3D Assist has been operating for around five years now and that’s what we do, help people in need.”

For further details on 3D Assist follow them on Facebook.

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