This week, Chatham-Kent Economic Development issued a request to the community to help identify businesses and organizations that have 3D printing capacity and would be able to help with making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care providers and frontline emergency response staff. While this is a highly technical request that involves equipment and resources, capacity, and skill, there have been over a dozen local companies and organizations that have stepped forward.
The request, which included a link to an online survey, asked for help in providing 3D-printed face shields to protect health care and first responders from COVID-19.
“The response online has been simply amazing and is even more proof that the people of Chatham-Kent are always willing to work together, even if we have to be physically distant,” said Andrew Tompsett, Chatham-Kent Economic Development. “The conversations happening on our Facebook page around the request for help with 3D printing has been very positive and is refreshing to see in a time when things are challenging for everyone.”
The idea originated from a news article about a London area emergency room doctor, Dr. Tarek Loubani, who is using equipment from his medical supplies charity, The Glia Project, to make 3D-printed face shields for his colleagues in Canada.
“It started with a discussion between Economic Development, The Glia Project and the Chatham-Kent Library, which has the capacity to 3D print. Once we understood the needs of Glia, it was clear that there was an opportunity for business to support the project as well,” said Tompsett. “That is what Economic Development is all about – connecting people with the right resources at the right time.”
Tompsett added, “Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey and also to those who helped to share the message and make sure people knew about the survey. We have a strong voice in Economic Development, but it’s nothing compared to the collective voice of Chatham-Kent.”
If there are more companies and organizations that would like to assist with the project, they can visit www.investck.ca and complete the online survey.
Chatham-Kent business and community: together we are strong!
3D printing or additive manufacturing is the process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The Glia Project provides the open-source files needed to print face shields.
Marketing and Communications Officer, Economic Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Phone: 519-352-8401 x2039