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Initiatives and Community Support on Covid-19 from Shop3D.ca

March 23, 2020

03-22-2020

We have been quietly working behind the scenes to find effective ways to provide support for our local communities, outside of our standard workload.

I'd like to explain what we have been doing and some of the things we're planning to best serve the community without just printing the first thing we see and stopping there. We're focused on a long term sustainable solution.

So far we have:

  • Started testing 3D Printed Masks designs and making modifications
  • Reached out to manufacturers to see if we can secure a supply chain of raw materials for scaling this solution and what materials are the most suitable
  • Reached out to hospitals directly to better understand what devices they actually require from us and the community
  • Reached out to our vendors to see if they are willing to make any contributions to community efforts
  • Developed and compiled a list of resources we have, which can assist industry to retool

We have a prevalent philosophy at Shop3D.ca that goes behind just being a retail store and eCommerce shop.  It is well known in the industry we serve that we do our research, we do our testing and we make sure that what we do and sell is safe and thoroughly tested.  

This should also be our approach to helping with the Covid-19 crisis.  Many are quick to jump on 3Dprinted items which can help in the short term but how many of us are looking at how to help in the long term? Are we vetting the effectiveness of these 3D printed designs with medical experts? Once we have an approved design, is there a way to scale with the proper supply chain to make it a truly viable solution rather than a stop-gap measure?

We believe that the real solutions already have a path laid out by the provincial and federal governments.  They are asking the manufacturing industry in Canada to retool for the production of medical-grade devices.  

By no means are we saying that the current 3D printed masks and face shields are ineffective or not appreciated.  Quite the contrary, it is amazing what has been done so far! However, we see that the real long term solution is to help our manufacturing industry retool as quickly as possible because the volumes and per-unit costs coming from well-established manufacturers will be able to fulfill the medical grade and massive quantity requirements our medical institutions need in the next few months.  

Our expertise is best utilized by the manufacturing industry we currently serve.  As 3D Printing experts which can help prototype, test materials and design jigs and fixtures to speed up their retooling efforts. Additive manufacturing and 3D printing has always been one of the best tools for prototyping but a far less effective tool for mass production.  Let's utilize our specialization to get to the next stage, mass production of medical equipment.

Our Primary Focus is to aid any manufacturer that has pledged support to retool for the province.  You can reach out to us for any prototyping, printing, testing and design support to assist in your retooling efforts.  We will provide what resources we can free of charge to support you in this initiative.  Reach out to our team.

Secondly, any individuals or local hospitals that require our immediate support in utilizing our print farm or a request for donations.  We are more than happy to contribute and coordinate resources such as additional volunteers or supply to the cause.  Reach out to Sarah.

Let's make sure we put our resources where it's best suited.  We're here to help!

Ken Wan
Managing Director
Shop3D.ca



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