What are you doing with your time during the pandemic?
In the basement of his Surrey home, one Grade 12 student spends hours a day 3D-printing devices that people can use in the fight against COVID-19.
Fawzan Hussain got going on the volunteer project soon after schools were closed, including Fraser Heights Secondary, from which he’s set to graduate.
With a 3D printer borrowed from the school, he began making and mailing out visors, goggles, face mask holders, glove removers, “Coronovirus Rings” and other devices.
“I’ve been devoting time to this from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, making these devices,” Fawzan told the Now-Leader.
“I found files on online at Thingiverse (thingiverse.com), I downloaded the files and began printing the models.”
So far, Fawzan has mailed several hundred of the devices to hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities that can use them.
“These items, I began sharing my ideas for these devices with health care workers, friends, family and teachers using email and social media,” he said. “I get in touch with whoever needs them and then I mail them.”
3D printing is not new to Fawzan, who as a volunteer with Neil Squire Society has created devices that assist people with disabilities.
“These (devices) help persons with disabilities do daily tasks such as gripping a pen or opening a water bottle,” he says in a Q&A posted to https://medium.com. “This creates autonomy and empowers people with disabilities to take control of their own actions.”
Thank you so much to @takingitglobal for featuring me in their recent blog post: https://t.co/nqIlcJ0xSc .Please take a read to follow my journey with 3D Printing Assistive Devices. Thanks!! @NeilSquireSoc @SurreyHospFdn @Centreforchild @MakerMakeChange
— Fawzan Hussain (@fawzan_h) May 1, 2020
During the pandemic, a door-opening device prevents people from touching dirty surfaces, and a face mask holder relieves pressure on the ears (aka “the ear saver”). The Coronavirus Ring, worn on a finger, has a pointed end used to press elevator buttons, door bells and light switches.
The list of COVID-19 mitigation devices is posted to the website of Youth For Care (youthforcare.com), a service group led by Fawzan, its president.
“I have distributed 654 devices so far, and in early April I received a $250 grant from the government of Canada to purchase filaments used to make these devices,” Fawzan noted.
Angela Monk, teacher-librarian at Fraser Heights Secondary, is impressed by Fawzan’s intelligence and drive to make a difference.
“The entire school population is in awe of him, really,” Monk said. “I run the maker space here, and he volunteers in the library and maker space, since he was in Grade 8. He is such a service oriented, community minded student.”
Meantime, SFU Surrey engineering students are also using 3D printing skills to develop COVID-19 supplies.
Close to 60 of the university’s Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE) students have worked from home, designing and developing medical mask parts, using their personal 3D printers.
Special door handles that allow people to open a door without using their hands have given to municipal workers in Vancouver and Surrey.
“COVID-19 is quite tragic, but because of this we can see how we can contribute to the community from the engineering perspective,” professor Woo Soo Kim said in a news release.
The project is an opportunity for students to collaborate and put what they’ve learned in class to practice.
“I really wanted to help out in some other way, apart from the physical distancing,” says Nina Lin, VP of Internal Relations for the MSE Student Society. “Many other students had friends and family from other parts of the world, who are facing a bigger crisis, so they really wanted to help out. We’re all eager to assist our community and use our talents, skills, and knowledge to give back.”