Makers from Fablab communities are stepping up and offering solutions in the fight against COVID-19.
Text by Art+ Staff
Digital Fabrication Laboratories or “Fablabs” for short, are workshops where makers and innovators can potentially make almost anything. These workshops usually have digital manufacturing machines such as 3D printers, laser engravers, or cutting equipment which differ from one lab to another.
In the realm of technology, makers are encouraged to use creativity to come up with innovative solutions. Creative people and scientific expects can work hand-in-hand in providing solutions to the lack of equipment, logistics, and understanding the COVID-19 Crisis.
Banking on the technologies they have at their disposal, Fablab communities have played a role in responding to the shortages in medical supplies by producing protective gear. One of the commonly shared projects is the 3D printed face shields. On the 27th of March, Philippine Fab Lab Network was able to produce an estimated 5,600 face shields.
Credit: Charles Vincent Barrete
Credit: Fablab UP Cebu
These Fablabs are mostly platforms for science, robotics and IT experts to collaborate and discover how existing knowledge and technologies can solve all sorts of problems. During the crisis, some efforts born from these communities are DIY solutions that range from creating alternative medical equipment, crowd-sourced data for logistics, and tracking apps. Some of these are #Bayanihan for relief efforts, Project GreenGrass for local area monitoring, and COVID19 Report PH a mapping system for COVID cases in the country.
Since the outbreak, makers have generously shared prototypes and alternative solutions to the otherwise slow response of the government. As new solutions are offered by makers, they seek to appeal to funders and logistic partners who can help them reach their intended users.
In a similar fashion, communities adapt this culture of sharing by offering innovative designs for people to recreate and use. Such as the SantiTent (Sanitation Tent). Its design is presently available online for other communities to try in their own locale.
Credit: SaniTents PH
There has also been a spike in projects based on the Arduino software particularly that of a hands-free alcohol dispenser which students have been recreating. Because this project’s design is available, other innovators are able to create simplified versions such as this DIY Automatic Alcohol Dispenser that runs without Arduino software.
Another example is this improvised automated disinfectant seen in Las Pinas City.
Credit: Danny T. Tiamson
This is a growing nationwide effort across the Philippine Fablab Network. Reach out to your nearest fab lab to see how you can help. To find a fab lab near you, please visit: Fablab PH response
Got a project you’d like to contribute? Join Lockdownlab to connect with other fab lab users.
Featured image from: Lockdownlab