OCAD U producing 3D-printed face shields for hospitals

The university's Rapid Prototyping Centre is currently printing protective face shields for use at Toronto's Michael Garron Hospital

Toronto’s OCAD University is helping out health-care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Through its Rapid Prototyping Centre, OCAD is producing 3D printed protective face shields for use at the city’s hospitals, which are in need of masks and other protective gear. 

“OCAD U’s constant evolution is based in the belief that creativity serves a vital function in society – that imaginations have the power to develop real-world solutions to improve and transform lives,” says Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s president and vice-chancellor, in a press release.

OCAD U faculty and technicians are consulting with Ryerson University’s FCAD Creative Technology Lab, the University Health Network Emergency administrators and colleagues at UC Davis in California to design and print protective face shields.

Currently, OCAD U is printing face shields approved for Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital). They’re distributing all of its printers to hospital staff and faculty who are able to print in their homes. Completed prints will be boxed up and delivered directly to Michael Garron Hospital by individuals or by courier. Hospital staff will disinfect and assemble as necessary. Printing will continue as long as required and as long as materials are available.  

On Thursday, in response to Canada’s difficulty accessing PPEs for healthcare workers, premier Doug Ford said Ontario and Canada need to become self-sufficient in providing such gear.

“We’re going to start manufacturing them. We’re going to encourage hospitals to support these manufacturers,” said Ford. “We can never, ever be put in this position again that we’re relying on countries around the world to support us with PPE.”

DIY groups like Mask Makers are also producing homemade masks for staff at Michael Garron Hospital.


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