The coronavirus has profoundly affected individuals and communities around the world. The pandemic has resulted in shortages of key medical supplies, critical to protecting health care workers fighting the virus. Recently, the University of Ottawa issued a call for help with 3D print fabrication of the headband component used in face shields.

Ciena’s mechanical engineering and NPI teams, already on the lookout for ways to support health care workers, stepped up to fabricate the components based on the University’s spec.Man holding 3D printing device

“One of our engineers, Trevor Meunier, completed his masters at the University of Ottawa and has served as our liaison to OttawaU,” said Marko Nicolici, Senior Manager, Hardware Engineering. “The key component, the headband, seemed like a good candidate where we could help.”

​​​​​​​The team got in touch with the University and confirmed the need. They also confirmed they had the approved design from the Ottawa Hospital. After identifying two 3D printers capable of fabricating the face shield headband component, they executed a test print. With samples in hand, they reviewed them with senior Ciena designers, before offering them to the University for their review and qualification.

"After receiving the green light for production, Joel Priddle from our team optimized the print process, and we started printing, cleaning and packaging the parts and delivering units to OttawaU,” explains Marko.

“The team has been highly motivated to support this initiative given the toll the pandemic is having on the medical community,” said Doug Wong, Director, Common Engineering.

Man in face shield

Facemask holders (to attach the shield) and mask reliefs (which helps reduce the strain to mask wearers) are being printed at Ciena and sent to the University of Ottawa, where the shields are added. Each day, team members (Marian Mocanita, Simon Shearman, Peter Saturley, Goyko Krnjevic, Kamran Rahmani, Victor Aldea as well as Joel and Trevor and Tim Kuhn), onsite at Ciena for critical lab work, use their breaks to contribute to the effort.

As of this week, over 4,500 units have been collected and delivered by the University to over 22 institutions in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario, including all hospitals in Ottawa, clinics, retirement homes and front-line workers. Masks are also being supplied to the Winchester Hospital, Cornwall Hospital, Trillium Hospital and a long-term care facility in Hamilton.

​​​​​​​Thank you to everyone at Ciena who is contributing to keeping our front-line workers equipped and safe.