Local Initiative for PPE Face Shields

A group of Cobourg/Northumberland organizations have got together to produce PPE Face shields – that’s Personal Protection Equipment that looks like a welder’s face shield except it’s transparent.  You can figure them out from the photos below – the only photo of someone using one is the one below right – click to enlarge.  It seems the initiative started with 3D printing at Venture 13 but many others are helping.  There’s a GoFundMe initiative to raise money to help – if it’s oversubscribed, money will go to local Hospital Foundations (NHH and Campbellford) – see link below.  There’s also a web site coordinating the effort.  According to the organizers the design originated with the Czech company Prusa in consultation with the Czech Ministry of Health and they say that “All tests were performed by leading Czech laboratories and hospitals to ensure conclusive and reliable results.”

Venture 13 Maker shields
Venture 13 Maker shields

They probably do not comply with the N95 standard but they are obviously useful to front-line Covid-19 people since they say that “Hundreds of face shields have already been delivered to Northumberland Hills and Campbellford Memorial Hospitals, to long-term care facilities and retirement communities across the County, to emergency responders and essential services.”

But the Czech designers say that “the shield alone is not a replacement for a surgical mask or respirator. It should always be combined with a surgical mask or respirator”. Also, cleaning methods have not yet been fully tested so they are initially one time use.

Here is some info from John Hayden at CFDC:

The Prusa RC3 Face Shield was the model initially used by InkSmith in Kitchener-Waterloo (the biggest project of its kind in Canada – we are in contact with them through our partnership with Chris Daniel at Durham College). They have since launched Canadian Shield. InkSmith has Health Canada approval (this article has some good photos). The basic Prusa design is being used all around the world because, unlike other designs, it is open source, universal and available so that all production partners can be easily united onto one program.

The Northumberland.io group is currently seeking Health Canada approval (Class 1 medical device). Chris Gillis P. Eng (Durham College) is leading.

All efforts are voluntary and all units are donated.

Currently 77 units are being produced per day but it is hoped to do more.  They have an immediate need for “Buttonhole Elastic Bands” – I’d guess elastic cannot be 3-D printed.

The “partners and warriors” involved are:

  • Argentum Electronics
  • Anonymous contributors (5)
  • Belden
  • Catherine Gissing
  • Canadian Wear Technologies
  • Cobourg Police Service
  • Colin and Helen Slade
  • Custom Plastics International
  • Durham College and Network of printers
  • Jane and Todd Ferguson
  • Jeremy Fowlie
  • Microfactory Co-operative at the Venture13 MakerLab
  • Millard Towers
  • Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC)
  • Northumberland Hills Hospital
  • Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation Northumberland Makers
  • Northumberland Manufacturers Association
  • Orono Design
  • Sabic Innovative Plastics Canada Inc.
  • Team Eagle Ltd.
  • Watershed Magazine
  • Venture13/Town of Cobourg

Here are some photos


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4 years ago

90% of COVID-19 deaths numbering 780 are people over 60 as reported in Toronto Sun today. Half were in nursing homes of the 702 and rest members of the general population over 60. Cobourg has a high per cent of of older people. Masks are needed here!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Observer
4 years ago

The government of Canada threw out two million N95 masks and 440,000 medical gloves when it shut down an emergency stockpile warehouse in Regina last year, a CBC investigation has revealed. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/experts-criticize-ottawa-for-mismanaging-and-destroying-millions-of-n95-masks-1.5530081

Bill Prawecki
4 years ago

Thanks for sharing the good news John. Great to have young entrepreneurs and millennials getting this underway. Hoping to see more comments that praise the efforts.

Reply to  Bill Prawecki
4 years ago

What you said Bill.

Old Sailor
4 years ago

Isn’t it time for the Town or Northumberland County to be stepping in to procure and make available to residents only, face masks, gloves and whatever else we should be using to control the spread of the virus. Sell it to residents at the County’s product cost.

Whenever I have tried to buy the above items I find a limited supply of extra small only gloves, no masks, no sanitizer dispensers etc. etc. No doubt those who find a supply at a store buy all of it. Oink Oink.

I would rather read about the Town or the County helping us get these products than just continuing to read about everything the Town and the County can cancel to limit their liability.

Reply to  Old Sailor
4 years ago

Those who find a supply at a store and buy all of it are just trying to stock up before the damned hoarders get it all. Can’t say I blame them.

Why does local government have to provide these items? I would gladly buy a face mask or two from any service club or church group that made and sold them.

Old Sailor
Reply to  JimT
4 years ago

JimT. I too would rather buy those items from a service club or a church. But they do not have the same buying power, staff to organize it or distribution facilities like a Town or a County.

Reply to  Old Sailor
4 years ago

A great idea Sailor but Town and County staff are “working” from home on full pay. How would they organize things?

Merry Mary
Reply to  Old Sailor
4 years ago

In three stores where I had purchased gloves before COVID-19, they are now non-existent because Essential Store Staff are in need of them and rightly so. Amazon.ca has some different versions but the delivery time could take until the end of May.

4 years ago

I am little confused by this “ They probably do not comply with the N95 standard “ since the story about face shields and not face masks
N95 is standard for Particulate Respirator Mask , which removes 95% of 0.3 microns particles

George Taylor
Reply to  Mark
4 years ago

there shields, not masks!

Reply to  George Taylor
4 years ago

I know that, that is why I was asking about the reference to N95

Reply to  Mark
4 years ago

Correct. There is no rating on a faceshield as its for splash protection

4 years ago