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UGDSB contributes to InkSmith initiative, uses 3D printers to produce medical supplies

March 25, 2020

GUELPH, Ontario – The Upper Grand District School Board is part of a community-wide effort to produce much-needed medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After hearing about a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospitals and frontline health care workers in Ontario, Kitchener-based tech company InkSmith jumped into action, using their existing tools and infrastructure to produce PPE face shields.

The InkSmith team is producing as many face shields as possible and recently put out an urgent call to all 3D printer owners in the region to help them produce PPE face shields to combat COVID-19.

Of those offering to help were staff at the UGDSB. Staff worked safely to secure 3D printers from a number of UGDSB sites, and now the board has six 3D printers up and running, producing PPE face shield parts. The intent is that the parts will continue to be produced for as long as the need exists.

3d Printing 5

Staff have been working with two different designs as InkSmith provided them with an updated design that is faster to make. “It really highlights how the design process and iteration works in real time,” said Jason Boyce, Minto-Clifford Public School.

“This has been a great collective effort with many moving pieces,” said UGDSB SHSM/Technological Education Curriculum Lead Charles Benyair, who is leading the UGDSB effort.

As of Tuesday night, InkSmith announced on Twitter that they were just shy of 1000 sets of donated parts for their PPE face shields. Under the guidance of a team of doctors, InkSmith is assembling, disinfecting and sanitizing the 3D face shields, then donating them to underfunded hospitals. 

In addition to working with InkSmith, the Upper Grand DSB is also making plans to work with local health care partners who have a need, to produce and distribute 3D-printed medical supplies locally.

Learn more about InkSmith’s PPE face shields initiative here:

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