UVic’s Engineering Department is 3D-printing parts to build face shields for frontline health care workers on the Island. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

UVic’s Engineering Department is 3D-printing parts to build face shields for frontline health care workers on the Island. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

VIDEO: UVic Engineering to 3-D print 4,000 face-shields for frontline workers

Team working to ensure Island health care workers have personal protective equipment

The University of Victoria’s (UVic) Engineering Department is 3-D printing parts to build face-shields for frontline health care workers on the Island.

While UVic classes and on-campus research have been temporarily suspended since March due to the pandemic, about 24 research projects related to COVID-19 were granted exemptions; these include digital technologies, biomedical and genome research and the 3-D printing of equipment for frontline workers.

Stephanie Willerth, professor and director of biomedical engineering at UVic, is leading a team on campus to create face-shields for health care workers – while following the orders from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

READ ALSO: Camosun College to produce more than 9,000 face shields for Island Health workers

“There’s a big need for different types of medical supplies given the current pandemic and one of the big issues is getting our frontline workers – nurses and doctors – personal protective gear so they can stay safe while trying to treat these patients,” she explained.

Willerth got in touch with Island Health to ask how UVic’s Engineering Department could contribute to the fight against COVID-19 and was told the face-shields are scarce. After a B.C. doctor contracted COVID-19 at the end of March, face-shields became mandatory but there aren’t enough to go around, she said. In response, UVic has joined a community effort to produce the equipment using 3-D printers.

Several groups on the Island – including Camosun College – are working together virtually to produce approximately 125,000 face-shields per month for Island Health, Willerth said. With the help of a $10,000 donation from Coast Capital Savings, UVic is producing the equipment for Island Health free of charge.

READ ALSO: Victoria brewery uses 3-D printer to make face shields for health care workers

“At a time when there is a need to come together like never before, it is heartwarming to see the ingenuity and creativity such as what we’re seeing from our partners at UVic,” said Maureen Young, director of community leadership at Coast Capital Savings.

The UVic team is creating the plastic headbands for the face-shield in the university’s “print farm” – a room full of 3-D printers. The see-through shield portions are being laser-cut in Sidney and then dropped off at the campus to be assembled. With nine printers, UVic can produce about 54 face-shields per day.

Other companies in the region with 3-D printers – such as Phillips Brewing – are also printing the shields and dropping them off in a donation bin outside UVic’s Engineering Lab Wing, Willerth said. The design that UVic is using is the Prusa Face Shield which is open-source – meaning anyone can access it online, she explained.

Members of the public or organizations that have 3-D printers and the required materials are encouraged to contribute by printing the mask components and dropping them off in the designated donation bin, Willerth said. The UVic team will then wash and sterilize all the pieces, assemble the masks and seal them in bags to be delivered to workers on the frontline.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

CoronavirusUniversity of VictoriaUVic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

UVic’s Engineering Department is 3D-printing parts to build face shields for frontline health care workers on the Island. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

UVic’s Engineering Department is 3D-printing parts to build face shields for frontline health care workers on the Island. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally displayed a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., in 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Councillors call on Saanich to address overdose crisis, explore options for safe consumption sites

‘There’s no vaccine for this problem,’ new action is needed, councillors say

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read