The Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield is a plastic face shield that acts as a droplet barrier to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from coughs, sneezes or other airborne particles. The Canadian Shield is one of several forms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that a doctor, nurse or healthcare provider may wear while caring for patients.
It’s simple: we had the equipment, we had the team experience and we were asked to step up for our community and North American healthcare workers.
We know of a lot of other companies like our own that retooled existing infrastructure to join Canada’s COVID-19 efforts. We’re only one part of this widespread movement, but we are driven by our mission to make sure Canada and the US have a homegrown and sustainable PPE manufacturing sector, so this type of crisis doesn’t happen again.
Yes! The Canadian Shield is looking to hire hundreds of workers to support our production of PPE face shields. We’re looking to hire machine operators, production staff, assembly line and packaging personnel. All jobs are located in Waterloo Region, Ontario, and we’re proud to be bringing back long-term manufacturing positions to the community.
If you or someone you know is interested in one of these roles, please visit our opportunities page.
In accordance with our Health Canada certification, we have strict safety procedures to help ensure our team stays healthy and safe as they come in to work on manufacturing shields. We provide PPE for everyone, do temperature screenings of anyone entering our facility, have a doctor on site who can address any concerns, and much more.
We’re grateful to our team members for leaving the safety of their houses to work, especially as many of their family and friends self-isolate. All of us are in this together and our whole team is committed to safety, exercising vigilance in terms of handwashing and sanitization, and keeping our operations running to meet our critical PPE needs.
Policies & shipping
Right now, The Canadian Shield only ships within Canada. Stay tuned for when we announce international shipping!
Shipping generally takes anywhere from 3 - 10 business days from the time an order is placed. Once an order is placed through our website, you'll receive a shipment notification when the order is sent out as well as a tracking number to follow the package with Canada Post.
At this time, we do not offer any sort of local curb-side pick-up. This is simply to ensure the safety of our employees and the security of our facility. We do, however, offer flat rate shipping anywhere in Canada.
The Canadian Shield is designed to be worn over top of other PPE, including surgical masks, N95 masks, glasses, or safety goggles. It covers the wearer from hairline to neck, ear to ear, to complement and layer existing safety gear. This plastic shield acts as another barrier of protection against the spread of COVID-19.
Canadian Shields are also designed to be reusable. The plastic pieces and elastic head strap can be disassembled, sanitized and reused up to 10-14 times safely. This allows them to be additionally useful for resource-strapped healthcare providers.
The masks are sent unassembled, in order for us to be able to send as many as we can, as quickly as possible. Each mask can be assembled and reassembled after disinfecting in under a minute by using the instructions contained in the package.
Dr. Neil Naik, President of the Kitchener-Waterloo Academy of Medicine and Patrick Gaskin, President and CEO of Cambridge Memorial Hospital, played a large role in the development and testing of InkSmith’s PPE face shield. Both Dr. Naik and Mr. Gaskin made frequent visits to the InkSmith office to pick up new prototypes of the mask to bring back to their respective healthcare colleagues to field test and review.
It was based on the crucial feedback of these healthcare professionals that InkSmith finalized the design for The Canadian Shield. At the same time, InkSmith applied for their Health Canada license to produce the PPE face shield. On March 24, 2020 InkSmith was approved for their Health Canada License Manufacturer(Class 1 Medical Device - MDEL 11655 - Company ID 151799).
Yes! We know there are many individuals who want to have an added layer of protection when they go back to work or are out and about in public. That's why we recently launched our face shield for sale on our online store.
Yes, we are happy to produce our PPE face shields for commercial businesses and retail storefronts. We are now selling The Canadian Shield on our online store to help you keep your staff safe as you head back to work.
About The Community Shield:
The Community Shield is a crowd-sourced initiative InkSmith started in order to produce as many 3D printed parts for PPE face shields as possible. After 3D printing the Prusa design of a PPE face shield, InkSmith soon realized that they wouldn’t be able to print enough parts; that’s when InkSmith made an open call to the maker community to help by contributing as many parts as they could.
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.
The Community Shield was inspired by Prusa and was a 3D printed version of a disposable PPE face shield that was crowdsourced across Canada. The Canadian Shield is a PPE face shield that is mass produced using die presses and is made of one plastic material, therefore making it both sanitizable and reusable.
The team at InkSmith and project partner Kwartzlab made the decision to slowly wind down the Community Shield as project at the end of May 2020 as InkSmith was in a position to take over donations with reusable PPE face shields from their newly formed company, The Canadian Shield. The Community Shield project has been massively successful and expanded far beyond what anyone on the InkSmith or Kwartzlab teams could have imagined!
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.
Yes. In Ontario as well as the rest of Canada, the Community Shield met an urgent need for critical PPE supplies.
InkSmith has heard from medical clinics, community healthcare groups, family physicians, pharmacists and more that have all benefitted from the generosity of those who contributed their time or resources to producing these face shields.
If you’re interested in exploring what other medical devices can be produced with 3D printing, we highly recommend joining our Slack Community. This online chat-room style community is filled with hundreds of other makers working on all sorts of 3D printing PPE projects. You can join this community by requesting access here.
InkSmith had been manufacturing and selling 3D printers, lasers, robotics and more for school boards for a few years when we received a call asking us to help out with 3D printing PPE.
What started as a one-off request to make as many 3D printed masks as we could turned into a community-wide effort, and we saw the strong 3D printing and maker community really step up and share their resources with this project.
So while the education technology side of the business is taking a backseat as schools transition to online learning, we will always be committed to our edtech roots, even as we grow our newly-founded PPE company.
Our Education Tech division isn’t going anywhere! While we are focused on rallying our efforts around Canada’s national response to the COVID-19 crisis, we look forward to being able to pick our education side of the business back up as soon as schools are back in session.
If you’re a member of the media, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re looking to join our team, please visit our opportunities page
If you’re a public healthcare provider looking to purchase Canadian Shields, please use our order form.
If you’d like to know more about our Community Shield program click here.
If you have any questions not answered, please contact us here.