3D-printed parts will become part of face shields for health care workers. (File contributed/ David Gilmour)

Victoria brewery uses 3D-printer to make face shields for health care workers

Phillips Brewing is teaming up with engineers to create single-use medical equipment

A Victoria brewery is using its resources to craft face shields for health care workers in Greater Victoria.

Phillips Brewing, normally known for staples like Blue Buck ale and its annual backyard weekender, is using a 3D-printer to create parts for face shields in a time when health care workers can’t get enough personal protective equipment.

“It all started when a friend of mine, who is an engineer, was asking if anyone with a 3D-printer could help produce face shields,” said David Gilmour, mechanical designer at Phillips. “We have a printer at the brewery, so I figured we could use it to pitch in.”

ALSO READ: Phillips Brewery creates ale trail after tank valve leak sends beer into Victoria street

Phillips usually uses the 3D printer to develop prototypes for its machines, since the company builds a lot of its own equipment.

Now, the printer is pumping out parts for four masks per day, which are then taken to engineers to fully assemble along with the clear plastic which is cut elsewhere.

Phillips is now putting out a call for anyone else with 3D printers to contact them over their Facebook page if they’d like to help up production of the face shields, and they’re not alone.

ALSO READ: All B.C. distillers now authorized to make hand sanitizer as COVID-19 leads to shortages

A newly-established B.C.- based organization called the Crisis Rapid Prototyping Society (CRPS) is also looking for 3D printing experts to join together to help hospitals produce single-use medical equipment.

“There are a lot of people working on designs, but few are helping to make the connection to logistics teams,” says Eric Gauf, founder and director at CRPS in an emailed statement. “This project aims to make the link between printers, designers, and the health system.”

Phillips also joins other breweries and distilleries producing hand sanitizer, which should be available by next week.

For more information on the CRPS visit crpsociety.org and to contact Phillips visit Facebook.com/phillipsbeer/

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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