InkSmith Partners with Kwartzlab Makerspace to Continue Community Shield Initiative

InkSmith is thrilled to announce their partnership with local makerspace and long-time customer, Kwartzlab, to continue The Community Shield project. This partnership will help InkSmith collect and produce 3D printed personal protective equipment (PPE) face shields for vulnerable hospitals and in-need health care facilities. 

The Community Shield project was InkSmith’s initial response to the COVID-19 outbreak. InkSmith produced a 3D-printed PPE face shield for frontline healthcare workers called The Community Shield, which included a 3D-printed headband and reinforcement piece, a clear protective face shield, and an adjustable head strap.

Acknowledging how time consuming it was to 3D-print enough parts to meet the critical need for face shields in Ontario, InkSmith reached out to local makers and 3D-printer owners for assistance.  The company received thousands of 3D parts from all over the province, but it still wasn’t enough to keep up with the demand for PPE in the region.

Kwartzlab and InkSmith Collaboration 

InkSmith went back to the drawing board and developed a new version of the face shield that was made with plastic instead of 3D printing. Dubbed “The Canadian Shield”, InkSmith quickly ramped up production, securing a second facility and hiring hundreds of new employees. While The Canadian Shield was far more practical to scale, InkSmith continued the production and donation of the 3D printed version – The Community Shield.  

Now producing two versions of the PPE face shield, InkSmith realized they would need help in order to facilitate the production of both The Canadian Shield and The Community Shield.

Thus, the partnership with Kwartzlab was established.

To focus on the mass production of The Canadian Shield for Health Ontario, InkSmith reached out to Kwartzlab and established a partnership that would see the Waterloo Region-based makerspace produce The Community Shield for vulnerable hospitals and in-need health care facilities.

Production of The Community Shield

Through this partnership, InkSmith will donate machines, material, elastic, and other resources, while Kwartzlab will oversee the logistics, collection, cleaning, production and assembly of The Community Shield. Kwartzlab will also arrange for community members to volunteer with the production of the shield. 

InkSmith will also be donating four 40W Mako laser cutters (valued at $6,999) to Kwartzlab to aid with The Community Shield production, which will be used to cut the clear plastic shield needed to complete the PPE. Once production of the PPE face shields is no longer needed, Kwartzlab will keep the lasers, adding significant capacity to their makerspace for years to come. 

InkSmith has worked with Cameron Turner, current Chairperson of Kwartzlab, on a variety of occasions including running professional development and student workshops within education. Both InkSmith and Kwartzlab are excited about this partnership and the opportunity to provide life-saving solutions for frontline healthcare workers during this crucial time!

PPE Face Shields

New Drop-off Location

With this new partnership comes some changes to the logistics of the Community Shield project. InkSmith will continue to accept any courier shipments of 3D printed parts to their location (44 Gaukel Street, Kitchener), however, we now ask that any ‘in-person’ drop-offs of parts are delivered to Kwartzlab’s location - 145 Bedford Road, Kitchener. For directions to this location, click here

For any questions about the InkSmith and Kwartzlab partnership, please view our FAQ sheet here.