Student start-ups at IIT-M make PPEs using 3-D printers, common stationery material

An intubation box devised by a start-up   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Two student start-ups at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have made personal protective equipment using 3-D printers and stationery materials. The start-ups are looking to mass produce face shields and intubation boxes for hospitals at affordable rates.

Fabheads Automation, incubated at the institute, specialises in manufacturing parts from plastics and fibre-reinforced plastics. It has developed 3-D-printed face shields and intubation boxes using the same material.

The face shields weigh less than 50 gm and use a flexible plastic frame to fit individuals. It can be worn for long hours and taken off easily. The makers use replaceable transparent sheet. Its founder and CEO Dhinesh Kanagaraj said from manufacturing just a few hundred face shields per week, the start-up was planning to produce up to 5,000 pieces a day.

The intubation box is made using acrylic/ polycarbonate material to reduce the transmission risk. The holes in the box can be fitted with gloves thus reducing the risk of infection significantly from the splashes/aerosols.

A second-year mechanical engineering student Sathvik Batte founded the start up Axis Defence Labs, which is making face shields using stationery items. It is supported by the institute’s pre-incubator Nirman.

Nirman’s faculty advisor Satyanarayanan Seshadri said following the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute threw a challenge to the students to come up with cost-effective solutions for a face shield.

“Mr. Sathvik Batte’s team came up with a finished product within about three weeks of posting the challenge, which is incredible given the difficulties in logistics and planning in view of the lockdown. This product is now available pan-India at a price point like a disposable face mask,” Mr. Seshadri said.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 3:54:16 PM |

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