A Toronto man has turned his 3D printer into a 24-hour personal protection equipment producing machine.
While Luc Debois was in self-isolation he began looking through forums for 3D printers and came across instructions to make protective shields for front-line health-care workers.
After sourcing materials with the help of his mother and sister, he made a test version, which a local midwife that he knew reviewed and said would work.
Since then he’s been running his printer non-stop, waking up each hour to set up the next frames.
Debois has already made more than 800 of the shields, but is far from finished.
“Right now I have filament for probably another 60 (to) 70 of them. Then after that, tomorrow, I’m going to pick up another bunch to make another 800 (or) 900.”
He’s also expecting a second 3D printer to arrive any day now. The machine was donated by David Hein and Irene Sankoff, the writers of “Come From Away.”
Once it arrives Debois expects to double production.
“Basically, until everything gets lifted off and we don’t get any more requests, then we just keep going.”
The project is a family affair. Debois handles the printer while his mother deals with the acetate, punching holes in it and cutting the corners of what ultimately forms the face shield. His step-mother has been sourcing the acetate and his sister is looking for places that need the equipment.
Once the frames and shields are ready, they’re packed in a manila envelope with a set of instructions. At that point they’re available for porch pick-up at Debois’s Toronto home, or he will drop them off to places that need them.
So far he’s provided the printed shields to the Midwives of East York/Don Mills and the Toronto Birth Centre. He also hopes to donate some to seniors homes and homeless shelters.