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May 14
Surrey whiz kids print protective devices for frontline workers during COVID-19

Surrey 3D Printing Coronavirus.jpg

Fraser Heights Secondary senior Fawzan Hussain has been 3D printing personal protective equipment for essential service workers, producing more than 700 devices for hospitals and care facilities.

Surrey students are proving you're never too young to help out in a global pandemic.

Grade 12 Fraser Heights Secondary student Fawzan Hussain has 3D printed more than 770 devices for hospitals and care facilities, including face shields, mask holders, glove removers, door openers and "Coronavirus Rings."

He started manufacturing supplies when he noticed Tinkerine, a local 3D printing company, using their machines to produce personal protective equipment. He downloaded models from Thingiverse, a resource for 3D printing designs, to make his own supplies for others.

"They started 3D printing these face shield parts and distributing them to the community, and I actually had a 3D printer at home, so I thought 'why not help out our frontline healthcare workers and start 3D printing?'," he said. "My mom also works in the healthcare industry, and some of the stories she tells us, it's really inspiring to see the work she does."

His interest in 3D printing began when he attended a maker fair in Grade 9, where he saw an exhibit by the Neil Squire Society, an organization that uses technology to empower people with disabilities to overcome physical barriers. It inspired him to print devices for the organization, as well as other groups such as the Tetra Society, the Surrey Memorial Hospital Rehab Clinic and Sophie's Place.

For his efforts, Hussain has received a $250 grant from the federal government in partnership with TakingITGlobal, a charitable organization that raises awareness and engagement among youth on global issues. The grant has afforded him six filaments for his 3D printer.

Hussain said his motivation to help others comes from a desire to give back locally.

"Being born in Surrey, I've been to so many city summer camps and recreation programs," he said. "I've been so grateful for the community helping me out, so when I got older, I figured out there were ways I could give back to the community."

Hussain, who is also student council president at Fraser Heights Secondary, said he wants to study computer science in post-secondary, and more 3D printing may be in his future.

"I really like computer science because there's so many possibilities with it, and you can combine it with things like 3D printing and electronics," he said. "You can create something like an electronic prosthetic, which is my science project this year."

District puts its 3D printers to good use

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In addition to Hussain's work, Surrey Schools has partnered with Tinkerine to produce face shields for essential service workers. The 3D printing company reached out to the district, asking for help to increase production of personal protective equipment.

Since May 8, children of essential service workers have been learning how to operate 10 printers at Adams Road Elementary, including levelling the bed, changing filament, applying substrate, running the programs and sanitizing 3D prints for elastic clips sets and lower brackets for face shields.

To date, the students have printed 384 masks and accompanying parts, and are expecting to deliver enough components to service 1,248 face shields by the end of the week. The parts will go to Tinkerine, and be distributed to Fraser Health and other medical services across Canada.

The district is using 3D printers lent from Adams Road, Sullivan, Crescent Park, Creekside and Henry Bose elementary schools, as well as Fleetwood Park and Princess Margaret secondary schools.

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