Making face shields for nurses in Vancouver

They're being distributed everywhere! From Abbotsford Regional Hospital to Vancouver General Hospital, and UBC, doctors and nurses everywhere are using these in the field. (Eagle Ridge Hospital pictured first here).

Our design has been updated and improved to be compatible with our very comfortable head strap and size-optimized face shield. We are also selecting only the clearest shields for deployment because the users want to be able to see with as much clarity as possible.

EDIT: We set up a website for Frequently Asked Questions, a how-to video, downloads for printing files and shield template, and pictures / testimonials! It also has a sign-up form for requesting shields for your facility.

Please note, hospitals, care units, care homes, individual doctors, nurses and front line staff are the priority. 

In this manner we can log the requests and get an understanding of quantity / demand. THANK YOU ALL.


My name is Kerry Chin, and I am the founder of Altimus, a Burnaby-based Product Design Agency. I am an engineer and my staff is a team of engineers and designers who work with funded startups and established brands to turn their ideas into innovative products. 

COVID-19 has impacted all of us and I was touched to hear about all the companies in the US that were putting their resources together to help medical professionals and hospitals and nurses do their job more safely because they are all so ill equipped with supplies and protective gear. 

Lately, I've had our whole office to myself since my team has to work from home. Today I realized I could fire up our 5 3D printers (about $15,000 of printers) and start making face shields as a small way of helping out because I haven't heard of anyone in Vancouver doing this.

Turns out all the hard work was done by bigger firms like Prusa USA who was a pioneer in 3D printing. They have been designing and refining a face shield that's been in use in New York City and Philadelphia hospitals in the hundreds or thousands already.

Here's what makers are doing in the USA 

I downloaded the same design, we made a few modifications to suit the elastic straps we had lying around and printed off one today. 

I posted my selfie with the face shield on social media and within a few hours, I had requests from a doctor at an urgent care clinic in Vancouver who wanted a few, and a nurse who works in Abbotsford hospital, geriatric ward (I think) who wanted 3 or 6. I got interest from a care home and I think when word gets out, I'll be making hundreds of these.

I have most of the materials in the office already...3D print filament, overhead transparencies, and some woven elastic strips. I spent $250 on more 3D print filament and got $120 worth of transparencies (200 pcs) from I'll go get the elastic strips tomorrow. That will make the first 200 shields.

Basically I can make between 12-20 face shields a day myself off the side of my desk. Since I can't get my team to help (all in self isolation), I can get my kids and wife to help with the assembly. 

I've got 3 printers going now, the other two are more expensive to run (one prints carbon fibre, a Markforged for those who want to know, and the other is good enough to make dental appliances) so I'll probably stick to 3 printers for this 'project'. If there is demand, I can use the Markforged printer, it can probably make 8 at once.

All I'm looking to raise is enough to pay for the supplies, the printers are just sitting idle during a quiet time for the business. 

Each face shield costs about CAD$2 in filament (updated to $3 because we are using the Markforged printer and the material is 10x more expensive), the transparency about $0.60 if I buy batches of 100, and the elastic is probably $0.50. So $4 each. I will not sell them to hospitals. I will have to find volunteers to deliver them as I have to stay in the office, run the printers, and do my normal day job. Life is sort of busy already but this is a good cause and I hope others can join in because I probably can't make enough myself.

The money is used to buy supplies and more supplies, any shipping or transportation to deliver to hospitals.

Credit to Prusa USA for the open source design.

Stay safe everyone. Thank you.


Kerry Chin
Burnaby, BC

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