MONTREAL -- Montreal researchers will offer 3D printing services to make the equipment healthcare workers need to face the COVID-19 crisis, it was announced Friday.

The initiative aims to create medical and non-medical equipment for hospitals with the use of existing printing machines until regular suppliers can meet the current demand. 

Anything from visors, to swabs used to test for the virus, to parts for respirators will be created as quickly as possible. The team has already delivered 1,000 protective visors to staff at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM).

The team is currently able to design at least 500 visors per day that are up to Health Canada’s standards, according to a researcher at the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS). Production capacity may increase in the coming days thanks to collaboration from students and citizens with 3D printers – about 50 work with the team on a voluntary basis. 

The researchers involved in this initiative are from ÉTS, the CHUM Research Centre, as well as clinical teams from the CHUM and the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'île-de-Montréal. They’ve been working with health officials to make sure the needs of healthcare workers are being met. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2020.