Students, employees and alumni are producing up to 150 face shield parts daily for donation
Oshawa, Ont. – Working out of their garages and basements, Durham College (DC) students, employees and alumni are using 3D printers to create the frames for face shields used by the healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative launched on March 26 and within 48 hours the first donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) built with the college’s 3D-printed parts were delivered to Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, Ontario.
“Ontario PPE manufacturer InkSmith put out a call for support to the 3D printing community and Durham College immediately answered that call,” said Chris Daniel, a professor with the college’s School of Science & Engineering Technology. “Six of DC’s 3D printers are now relocated to my garage and a group of our Mechanical Engineering Technology students and alumni who have their own 3D printers are on board with this initiative and printing furiously too.”
There are currently 16 DC community members using 26 rapid prototyping machines across Durham Region to create the face shield frames. With community outreach being led by DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the college is currently working with two partners to see the parts put to use:
- DC is shipping frames to InkSmith, where the parts are used to create the company’s community shield, a sanitized single-use shield which InkSmith is donating quantities of to underfunded hospitals and healthcare providers.
- The college is also collaborating with a team from Ontario Tech University that is also creating one-time-use face shields for donation to local healthcare teams.
“I am always proud to count myself among DC’s more than 90,000 alumni but it’s in moments like this that I’m grateful to be part of a community that is so committed to supporting our greater community, especially the brave men and women who are working tirelessly on the healthcare frontline,” said alumnus Brent Lessard, who is currently using his 3D printer at home to contribute to the college’s face shield frame production. Lessard also sits on the DC Alumni Association board of directors.
On March 28, Chris Daniel launched a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $1,000 to purchase more polylactic acid, or PLA, the printing material used to 3D print the face shield frames. In less than a day, more than $8,000 was donated, 100-per-cent of which will be used to purchase more PLA for the DC project and to purchase more face shields from InkSmith that will also be donated to healthcare providers.
Chris Daniel is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology at DC as well as a faculty advisor with the college’s FastStart entrepreneurship team. Two of the 3D printers he is currently using to create PPE parts are on loan from DC's 360insights Entrepreneurship Centre, located at the Oshawa campus.
About Durham College
At Durham College (DC), the student experience comes first. With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby and a learning site in Pickering, we offer approximately 13,400 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students access to more than 140 full-time and nine apprenticeship programs, including the Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science and Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management.
We enable students to develop the career-ready skills required to meet the demands of today’s job market by connecting them with expert faculty and offering quality programs. With a focus on experiential learning through field-placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads have the skills and knowledge employers need.
The Oshawa campus features DC’s newest building, the Centre for Collaborative Education, which represents the college’s commitment to working with local business and community partners while bringing together local, Indigenous and global communities and members of key business sectors.
DC’s Whitby campus is home to the Skills Training Centre, where students receive hands-on training and instruction in industrial-grade shop labs for carpentry, HVAC, welding, elevating devices and crane operation, among others. The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which includes Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a retail store featuring food prepared by students in the college’s culinary programs.
For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.
For more information, contact:
Communications and Marketing
O: 905.721.2000 ext. 2952