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30 Mar 2020, 8:12

3D printing and the help to fight Covid-19

In relation to earlier pieces on DesignSpark and various other related content found on the web. I thought it worthwhile sharing information about 3D printing and Covid-19.

I not actually a 3D printing expert far from it in fact, but over the years I have seen many uses from visiting Fab Labs, Maker Spaces, Maker Fairs and Hackathons. But I always remember my first 3D hackathon back in 2013, this is where I heard what was to turn out to be very prophetic words. "Imagine that a 3D printer could help the fight against a natural disaster or other such events, when things are needed quickly, cheaply and on a mass scale. Legions of 3D printers the world over whole could combine, share designs and mass-produce". Back then I would never have guessed that it would be on a scale that we are seeing now due to the global Pandemic over Covid-19.

We are all reading about the lack of ventilators, respirators and protective equipment, it's a global shortage, but there are pockets of encouragement. 

Here are a few examples to share and perhaps after reading these, you will be inspired to share and circulate more stories either here on DesignSpark or other forums and platforms where engineers hang out. The message that 3D printing and engineers can help fight this disease is not lost on us. 

1) Leiatat 1  A 3D-printed ventilator designed for Spain's coronavirus patients.

See the video at the BBC BBCでビデオを見る

A Spanish consortium that comprises Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB), LeitatHP, the Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa and the Parc Taulí hospital in Sabadell, has developed the first medical 3D printed ventilator to support hospitals & other health institutes in the fight against Covid-19.

Note: This an emergency unit, that paramedics would use. It is a mechanical BVM/bagger, not a proper ventilator. While by integrating a motor it is possible to help patients with difficulties in breathing, the most serious patients will require long term (2 weeks+) ventilation with controlled settings based on their changing conditions, humification, oxygen, filtration, passive and active pressure adjustment on the fly. This means that a lot more is involved in producing a standard emergency oxygen ventilator for intensive care.

2) Shared on 3D Printing Media Network ( Davide Sher) - How 3D printing can help address shortages in COVID-19 life-saving ventilation devices

This article (in full here) looks at the different type of components where 3D printing-related activities should focus on non-invasive methods, however, it's this piece below which stands out.

How can 3D printing help? 3D printing could only help with intensive care ventilator production by entering the traditional supply chain in order to provide an alternative for temporarily unavailable parts to be assembled by the traditional manufacturers. However, one way 3D printing could provide immediate help is through the rapid development and production of custom splitters that would enable multiple patients to be connected to a single ventilator.

(Source 3d Printing Media Network)

3) COVID-19: How 3D Printing is Helping the Fight

(Video Source 3Dnatives)

4) NanoHack, an open-source 3D printed mask against COVID-19

The mask imagined by Copper3D should be antiviral, reusable, modular, washable, recyclable, and affordable. A traditional mask must be thrown away after some time (about 8 hours according to the Chilean company). The manufacturer immediately put the corresponding STL file online so that as many people as possible could print it and offer it to those in need. It also registered a patent.

More info here from 3Dnative

3D printed valves in Italy: https://www.3dnatives.com/en/italy-pa... -

3D printed face shields from Prusa Research: https://www.3dnatives.com/en/prusa-me... 

More initiatives here:: https://www.3dnatives.com/en/3d-print...

Stay safe HarryO1

Following future technology developments, gadgets, music and Rugby.

30 Mar 2020, 8:12