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OCAD University producing 3-D printed protective face shields for hospitals

In response to an urgent plea from hospitals in the GTA for personal protective equipment (PPE), OCAD University’s Rapid Prototyping Centre is helping to fill the void.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to increase and spread, hospitals worldwide are short of vital medical supplies. 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.

“During this extraordinarily difficult time, we are proud to lend our expertise to support health care workers so they can stay safe while caring for patients,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “OCAD University’s constant evolution is based in the belief that creativity serves a vital function in society – that imaginations have the unique power to develop real-world solutions to improve and transform lives,” she noted.

Currently, OCAD U is printing face shields approved for Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital). The hospital launched a PPE Drive campaign to encourage businesses and individuals with personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves, to donate them to healthcare workers.

OCAD U is distributing all of its printers to 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.  

The University has also offered its support and expertise to Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities during this crisis and is lending its innovative skills to the community, and beyond, in a number of ways: 

-    The Inclusive Design Research Centre has compiled and is offering resources for people with disabilities and other vulnerable communities, providing support in moving K-12 curriculum online and applying machine learning to analyze COVID-19 population data. 

-    The Health Design Studio has provided timely communication tools in 27 language to support emergency rooms and testing centers. 

-    The Visual Analytics Lab has offered to support the visualization of COVID-19 data and help guide support services delivery.