Delta company refocuses, 3-D prints medical face shields

BC firm 3-D prints shields

A Delta company is pulling out all the stops making face shields for health-care workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tinkerine, an ed-tech firm started by a group of SFU graduates seven years ago, has been manufacturing up to 1,000 per day using 3D printers, and is looking to bring on additional workers to help meet the demand.

Noting others including cities and fire departments are also interested in getting the shields, company co-founder Eugene said the shields are a special design.

“We call it full coverage with a seal on top. One of the most important aspects we heard from doctors and nurses is that droplets of Covid can enter from on top of the masks and we wanted to make sure that portion is sealed. As far as we know, we’re the only design out there that offers that with a reusable component to it. It’s a new way of looking at the equation what a face shield can do,” he said.

The company noted last week alone it received interest for over 4,500 face shields over a 24-hour period. Production for the orders has commenced and delivery is expected immediately, while additional orders are coming on an hourly basis.

The company has also secured raw materials required for the mass production.

To significantly increase the production, Tinkerine has also mobilized its Education Production Consortium in the hope of using more DittoPro and DittoPro-R 3D printers to manufacture the required medical product with the assistance of its education partners.

While post-secondary and high schools are closed, the company is hoping teachers and other education professionals with access to the printers can help, with assembly being done at the Tilbury facility.

Every printer can increase capacity between 50-to-100 shields per day, noted Suyu, saying there’s potentially 600 printers out there that can be utilized.

Suyu said the company, for now, has a nominal charge for the face shields but has applied for government funding in order to make them free.

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