There have been reports of heartwarming stories where residents across the city have helped fellow citizens during these testing times.
Now, a group of five young engineers has been doing their part to fight the pandemic by using their technical skills. R Suriya, V Gokul, S Guru Prasanna, V Ajay Kumar and JG Aloysius Gilbert through their startup, GAAGS Technologies, developed 3D-printed face shields and have been distributing it for free across the city.
Talking to DT Next, Guru says, “We used 3D-printing technology to create face shields using PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) which is an eco-friendly biodegradable material. It took us about 25-minutes to create a face shield using our 3D-printer and costed us Rs 120.” Guru proudly adds that the team has successfully made over 200 face shields in the last few days.
Gokul, another team member, shares, “As the crisis spiraled out of control, we often came across the news about the importance of wearing a face mask among other safety precautions. We decided to put our skills on 3D-printing to use and immediately started designing a face mask.” Gokul notes that if the masks are manufactured using injection molding technology, the cost to manufacture will reduce. “Also when duplication technology is employed, then you can save a lot more money,” he adds.
When quizzed about how GAAGS Technologies was born, Suriya says, “We decided to enroll in the incubation center in our college and got connected with Muthu Singaram sir, CEO of IIT-Madras HTIC MedTech Incubator.
We then participated in a hackathon event and finished in the top-five list. Later, we got selected and our startup began in April 2019.” The youngsters have also worked on developing adjustable 3D-printed prosthetics, AdPro, to heal fractures. The engineers hope to work along with the government during this time so they can create more face masks for people.