JSE-listed independent education provider Curro Holdings is assisting several healthcare organisations around the country by offering the services of its three-dimensional (3D) printers, as well as its staff, to aid in the printing of protective face shields for medical workers currently fighting against Covid-19.
The school's “twenty-first-century education approach” has resulted in many of its facilities having 3D printers on site, the school notes.
These printers will be used to print protective face shields, including the head band and shield components.
Curro curriculum manager: science, technology, engineering, art, maths, design/drones (STEAMD) Tony Williams tells Engineering News & Mining Weekly Online that 16 Curro schools are contributing about 40 printers in total, which can print between 10 and 15 protective face shields a day, depending on printer speed and breakdown rate.
He explains that the protective face shields are multiple-use items. “One can simply slide in another transparency paper, or clean the current one that is in there.”
However, to mobilise the 3D printers during the national lockdown, Curro has applied to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission for an essential services permit, which was granted and issued on March 28.
“Each individual who goes on site to the various school campuses will carry the relevant permits indicating that we are assisting with a specific service,” notes Williams.
Production of the shields started on March 28 and the Western Cape production team handed 100 shields over to pathology practice PathCare Mediclinic on April 1.
Further, 24 shields were delivered to private doctors on March 31, with a further 50 being delivered to emergency care provider ER24 on April 2.
In total, Curro’s production teams have made about 250 shields across the country, to date.
“Our production teams have been using proven templates available from the Internet and modified accordingly as some templates were not printing well,” notes Williams.
In terms of coordinating schools' operations in different provinces, Curro Rivonia executive head Brian O’Neil is coordinating the Gauteng, Bloemfontein and KwaZulu-Natal production teams in a partnership with ER24.
Williams is coordinating, in partnership with PathCare, with production teams in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.
Curro Holdings CEO Andries Greyling says that, as a country, we are all in this together. “We feel it is our duty as corporate South Africa and teachers of the next generation to lead by example and take a bold stand to help where we can.
“While the country is in lockdown, it requires us all to think innovatively to tackle the outbreak,” he concludes.