With the COVID-19 virus continuing to change our daily lives, more and more businesses are pivoting their production and focus to aiding the fight against the pandemic.
Businesses ranging from nationwide to local are doing what they can, from producing makeshift personal protective equipment (PPE), to offering free meals to the growing population of unemployed workers.
Print shops fall under the category of ‘essential services’, and while all Print Three locations are still continuing our main line of business such as business card printing, posters, and other forms of commercial signage and print marketing collateral, we’re doing our part to aid our communities in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Alongside from more stringent social distancing rules in place at our physical locations, we’ve been producing COVID-19 signs for local businesses to help educate and keep staff and communities safe from COVID-19.
We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Canada’s printing community, as we’re not the only print shop to step up in this time of crisis.
3D Printing and COVID-19
An exponential demand in face masks, gloves, eye protection, clothing, and other types of PPE has created a shortage of supplies, leaving Canada’s frontline workers exposed to the coronavirus. Hospitals, for example, have resorted to reusing old equipment, as some form of protection is better than none.
Face masks in particular are virtually impossible to attain, as the Canadian public has been advised to cover their faces when going out, regardless of occupation or destination, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Luckily, the 3D printing community has answered the call. They’ve banded together to work on 3D printing these sought-after PPE, quickly getting materials in the hands of people who need them most. For example, some 3D printers are using their printers to manufacture nasal swabs so more COVID-19 tests can be done each day. Others are 3D printing face masks and shields for medical professionals that are managing COVID-19 cases around the clock. Even large corporations like Ford and Toyota are working with GE Healthcare to build air-pressured ventilators via 3D printing.
In fact, 3D printing is being relied upon so heavily as an alternative source of PPE that the Canadian government has even created guidelines for 3D printing protective equipment, so the materials are actually effective.
Experts in Spain have gone so far as developing a 3D-printed respirator, an emergency device to help people with COVID-19 breathe for short periods of time, which has been approved by medical experts in Spain.
Copper3D has even made an online open source file available for a 3D-printable N-95 mask, which takes just two hours to print and comes with assembly instructions and best practice guidelines.
Printing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Similar to Print Three’s locations, other local Canadian print shops offering more traditional digital and offset printing services are doing what they can to support the communities they serve, too.
Calgary’s Little Rock Printing has shifted to producing acrylic protective screens for retail and fast-food workers, as well as floor decals for grocery stores to highlight ‘social distancing’ dots for checkout lineups.
“We’re just trying to make enough money to cover our costs and keep some people employed,” said owner Brian Kroeke. “But there’s a lot of feel-good stuff in it. One customer told us they had an employee who was terrified to work until they got one of these screens up and then she felt much better. So it’s nice when people are happy or excited about what we’re doing.”
And of course, media printers continue to operate on a local and national level to print newspapers and other communications for COVID-19 education and prevention.
The Print Three family hopes you’re all staying safe and healthy in these times.
If your business needs COVID-19 store signage and floor decals, or posters to outline cleaning and prevention tips, Print Three’s print shops are operating nationwide. Find your closest location and get in touch with us today.