Supporting COVID-19 Health Care Workers

Three rows of face shields on a wooden table.

As the world continues to fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, ensuring the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers, like masks, gowns and face shields, has been a growing concern. The pandemic is putting significant strain on vital hospital resources across Canada — including much-needed PPE — which are essential to providing the care patients need. As result, many health care organizations have been asking the community to help through the donation of equipment.

Steve Madden, OLG’s Senior Director of Security Architecture and Standards, was recently approached by a volunteer project team that is working in conjunction with Toronto Tool Library (TTL) Makerspace with an innovative way to contribute to this effort. The team is using 3D printers to design and fabricate PPE and supplies for front line health care workers. Steve lent two printers that he built to the project, which has 15 printers working as close to 24/7 as possible. Since April 20, 2020, the initiative has produced more than 900 face shields that are being delivered to several hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area.

Every little bit helps when it comes to ensuring health care workers have the supplies they need, and it’s an honour to play a small role in this important effort

“Every little bit helps when it comes to ensuring health care workers have the supplies they need, and it’s an honour to play a small role in this important effort,” said Steve. “This initiative is a true testament to the ingenuity of the Maker community and its willingness to take on any challenge. Makers from around the world have been quickly responding to the crisis — using their resources and skill sets with the mission to save lives.”

The project team has 10 team members that include designers, 3D printing experts, community relationship managers and coordinators. It is also supported by many people in the wider community who assist with everything from sourcing supplies to logistics and donations.

The team is always looking for more support — whether it’s through skilled volunteers providing their time, people lending tools (particularly printers and laser cutters), donations of materials (clear plastic sheets, folder covers, overhead transparencies) or financial support through the team’s donations page. For more information, visit the TTL Makerspace website.

A 3D printer creating parts for face shields.
Two people having a conversation behind a laptop and a computer monitor.


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