As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, travel has been restricted and people have been called to stay away to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the health burden. In the most severe cases, however, a special respirator is needed, but this has created a huge shortage in the world, but at the same time, this simple plastic part can now be produced with 3D technology, writes the 3D Printing Industry.
Many 3D printer companies, hobby printer users, and designers have offered their help amid the pandemic by producing the necessary respirators on their own printers, as well as several products that help or facilitate the work of healthcare workers.
At the request of the European Commission, the European Additives Manufacturing Association (CECIMO) contacted companies and individuals using 3D printing. “Many companies in the European 3D printing industry have volunteered to support hospitals and healthcare centers by printing out the tools they need,” the Association said.
Furthermore, the director of the organization, Filip Geerts, suggested that the Member States consider temporarily amending certain requirements of the Medical Devices Directive to avoid legal restrictions on the use of 3D printers.
Formlabs 3D printer maker in Massachusetts, USA – which makes industrial printers for companies like Tesla, Sony, or Google – has formed a support network to connect manufacturers with needs.
The Italian engineering company Isinnova helped the Brescia hospital’s need for a respirator because the hospital’s supplier was unable to deliver enough to the institution. Cristian Fracassi, the company’s CEO, and colleague Alessandro Romaioli made his own prototype after the hospital visit, and six 3D printers were put into operation with the local Lonati manufacturer, and 24 respirators were produced in 24 hours. These devices are still used in severe patients in the hospital.
At the same time, the company will face potential legal action from a company that holds a patent for ventilators.