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Curitiba combines design element with technology to produce 3D printed face shields


Curitiba, a UNESCO Creative City of Design in Brazil, is known for its dynamic and modern design scenarios and is considered as an international and national benchmark in innovation and urban culture. The city has diversified and strengthened its economic development through strategic investments in the creative and cultural industries.

In addressing the current outbreak of COVID-19, the city of Curitiba mobilized its expertise in design and innovation to start producing 3D printed face shields to protect health professionals working in the city. Through collaboration between the various agencies from the municipality such as the Curitiba Agency of Innovation, the Social Action Service, the Secretariat of Education, together with the private sector institutions, the necessary resources were collected, resulting in the production line of the 3D printed face shields.

A participatory and multi-stakeholders approach, the initiative is a synchronized effort between public and private agencies in the production of these face shields. For instance, the Maha 3D, a startup from Curitiba that specializes in providing technical solutions in 3D printing, made technical adjustments to the existing shield model to simplify and expedite the production process. The Municipality undertook the responsibility to acquire the transparent front plate of the face shield, and the 3D printers used for the 'Lighthouses of Knowledge and Innovation’ project that teaches prototyping and 3D printing to students, were made available to produce the face shields.

Currently, the Municipality’s fabrication laboratory, or Fab Lab, manufactures around 220 units per day.

The initiative further calls on all companies, laboratories, individuals who have a 3D printer to join this common effort and contribute towards helping medical professional to be safe while treating the hospitalized patients.