The Community Shield

The Community Shield is where it all started.

After the Kitchener-Waterloo Academy of Medicine approached InkSmith to 3D print Personal Protective Equipment for front-line workers, they reached capacity very quickly.  InkSmith put out a simple call to local makers with access to 3D printers to help produce 3D printed parts for PPE face shields. Within days, the team had received thousands of 3D printed parts and the initiative quickly turned into a full-scale production operation with 3D printed parts coming in from all over the country.

To focus on the mass production of reusable PPE face shield The Canadian Shield, 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.

3D printed PPE face shield


The InkSmith team started with a 3D printed model of a face shield designed by Prusa. We took that design and tested it with local doctors.

3D printing PPE


In order to produce enough face shields, we made a call to local 3D printer owners to help us print the parts. We had an amazing response with thousands of donations Canada-wide.

the community shield ppe


3D printed parts were delivered to project partner Kwartzlab, where 3D parts were cleaned and assembled for delivery across Canada.  

The team at InkSmith and project-partner Kwartzlab have since made the decision to slowly wind down the Community Shield project as InkSmith is now in a position to take over donations with reusable PPE face shields from The Canadian Shield. The Community Shield project has been massively successful and has expanded far beyond what anyone on InkSmith or Kwartzlab team could have imagined. 

As of May 2020, the initiative will have seen more than 20,000 3D printed PPE face shields being donated across the province. All of those donations were made possible by local makers and 3D printer owners in the community stepping up and using their resources to help. To end off the project, InkSmith  will be matching the Community Shield contributions by donating an additional 20,000 units from their line of reusable PPE face shields at The Canadian Shield. This brings the grand total of PPE face shields donated as a result of the project to well over 40,000!

the community shield inksmith


From individual makers to public libraries and schools boards, we are so grateful for those that stepped up to help make this project a success. The Community Shield has been a true testament to the innovative and caring individuals found within our own community. 

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∙ The Community Shield project  has been incredibly successful with over 20,000 shields donated as a result of 3D printed parts contributed by community members.

∙ InkSmith will be matching the Community Shield contributions by donating an additional 20,000 units from their line of reusable PPE face shields at The Canadian Shield, brining the grand total of donations to well over 40,000 units. 

The Community Shield is in circulation at several Waterloo Region front-line healthcare touchpoints including Cambridge Memorial Hospital in Cambridge, Grand River and Saint Mary’s Hospitals in Kitchener and several long-term care and clinical service facilities

The Community Shield project filled a massive gap in the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage during a critical time in the fight against COVID-19.

∙ InkSmith and project-partner Kwartzlab will continue to accept and distribute any donated 3D printed parts for shields that have already been printed or shipped. However, both organizations ask that makers look to other 3D printing projects in the community that need support as the official “Community Shield” project winds down production.

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we couldn't have done this without you!

The InkSmith team wants to express its deep gratitude and recognition of the 3D printing community around the world for their commitment to crowdsourcing PPE and other equipment to join global efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.