Niagara Falls firm creating 3D-printed face shields for local front-line staff

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Local agencies partnering to provide personal protective equipment for workers in Niagara


Dan Bordenave, founder of Niagara Falls company Bisep Inc., is part of a fundraising project where 3D-printed face shields are being created for Niagara’s frontline workers. – Warren Toda , Special to Torstar

A consulting organization and an advanced health-technology company based in Niagara Falls are aiming to raise money to create 3D-printed face shields for Niagara’s front-line workers.

Civiconnect, a non-profit consulting group founded by Brock University political science students Hope Tuff-Berg and Kailene Jackson, will host a digital fundraiser called Protecting our Frontline Heroes, to support the project in partnership with Bisep Inc.

After starting to print face shields to protect front-line workers across Niagara in early April, Bisep founder Dan Bordenave said he recognized the growing demand for comfortable, washable personal protective equipment to keep workers safe from the spread of COVID-19.

To meet demands, Spark Niagara — a startup business incubator in downtown Niagara Falls — connected Bisep to another of its members, Civiconnect.

Together, they’ve launched a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of equipment for creating face shields.

Tuff-Berg said a lot of people have been looking to help in some way, but it’s been challenging “since we can’t volunteer in the more conventional ways as we did before.”

“This is a fantastic initiative to create more face shields that are washable and reusable for front-line workers, especially those who are not getting immediate PPE from the government and other sources like that,” she said.

Although Ontario has begun the process of slowly reopening, Bordenave said they recognize the battle against COVID-19 is not over. He said until there’s a cure, the need for PPE will not cease.

Founded in 2015, Bisep created an award-winning device that can assist immobility and ambulation training without the need for extra staff and equipment.

The ARMM (Ambulation, Retraining and Mobility Mechanism) achieves this by attaching a patient’s wheelchair directly to their walker in a safe, adaptable manner.

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