Canadian News Mar 27, 2020 2:49 PM EST

McGill students design 3D printable protective equipment for healthcare workers

McGill University students in Montreal, Que., have designed protective equipment to aid health care workers in fighting coronavirus.

McGill students design 3D printable protective equipment for healthcare workers
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta
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McGill University students in Montreal, Que., have designed protective equipment to aid health care workers in fighting coronavirus, according to Global News.

As the country begins to run low on medical and protective equipment, students at the university came up with a face-mask designed to be manufactured using a 3D printer.

The group of students worked with a company based in Prague, Czech Republic to come up with an original design. They hope to produce the masks on a large scale in Montreal.

Cyril Mani, an engineering student at the school said, “This is a primary design. It’s not the final product, but if you put it on your face, you can see that it still protects me, and if I talk to you, it captures my fluids and it protects my surfaces from other fluids.”

Mani and his fellow students are designing the face masks to be reproduced using a 3D printer—allowing the products to be made without the use of a factory crew or a large-scale manufacturing operation.

“We don’t want to get in the shop—the whole concept of this is to decentralize production so that not a lot of people are in one place,” Mani noted.

He added that they have reached out to companies with the ability to help the students mass-produce the masks.

Due to new social distancing practices, the group is meeting on Skype instead of in person to discuss ideas. They still hope that McGill will provide a workplace at some point.

“It’s just about convincing one technician who’s ready to work to go in help us print. We don’t need to be in the building, we will send them the file to print for us,” Mani said.

“We can be printing these masks in real-time and prevent what has happened in Italy and Iran, where they were lacking these masks and PPE equipment.”

Premier Francois Legault noted that the government of Quebec plans to work with over a dozen companies for “ventilators, masks and all the equipment for testing” to provide an ongoing supply of equipment.

“We are not expecting anything from it. We are trying to first face the pandemic and the urgency of the situation,” he said.

On Friday, Justin Trudeau announced his plan to help manufacturers willing to repurpose their assembly lines in order to build medical equipment.

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