Local 3D printing wizards help keep our heroes safe

In just a few weeks, what began as a goodwill project to supply full-face shields to friends of the Hattingh family has turned into Shield Africa, a company aimed at protecting not only the frontline workers but millions of South Africans as they go about their daily lives. 
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde took notice of the Shield Africa project and lauded the efforts of the Hattingh family on Twitter for the work they have been doing.

Saving lives and making waves

We spoke to former Matie and one of the co-founders of Shield Africa Marcel Hattingh about the importance of the work they are doing: “Shield Africa can play a significant part in the “new normal” and help protect not only the frontline but millions of ordinary people as we go about our daily lives. We are delighted with the response we have received thus far and proud of the effort local companies and individuals have gone to in support of our mission. Personal protective equipment is hard to come by, especially in Africa, but crucial if we want to reopen more segments of our economy while minimizing the spread of the virus.” 

Escalating production

From an initial small scale and rapid prototyping effort to 3D print face shields for medical professionals in the Western Cape has quickly grown to Shield Africa manufacturing thousands of shields every day. Shield Africa’s goal is now to produce and distribute millions of affordable but high-quality face shields to help Africa in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic and all other airborne viruses. 
Shield Africa was kickstarted by IN2EX PTY LTD, a family-owned trade and investments company focussing on wealth management, global telecommunications, civil infrastructure, media, technology, construction and property.

Safety first

3D printing has become another important tool in the fight against COVID-19 but as individuals and companies large and small do what they can do to assist during this crisis, PPE needs to be manufactured according to specific standards to be of practical protective use. “We specifically designed our shields to be comfortable and reusable to minimize plastic waste with long term usage in mind. The durable headband is made from injection moulded plastic that can last many years if used with care and easily recycled if necessary. The clear visor can also be used many times over if properly cleaned, or replaced with any standard A4 transparent binding cover page and a four-hole punch.”

Order online

Shield Africa is a non-profit initiative and they sell their shields at the lowest possible price to cover manufacturing and operational costs. The shields are currently available on their website in batches of 100 at R2000 (Ex VAT). Their goal is to continue to expand their manufacturing capabilities to match the growing demand and help support the local economy. For more local lifestyle features and news from Stellenbosch and surrounds, subscribe to our newsletter.