This article was first published with the title “the 3D Printing Community can support healthcare professionals by joining some of these initiatives”, therefore some information might find familiar to you.
We’ve decided to gather the various requests we receive around the world and the various responses from 3D printing companies. This way, 3D printing companies that would like to join some initiatives in their region can easily choose the one that raises their interest. In the same vein, this will enable medical staff to easily reach out to companies in their region.
Last update: April 20th (in the segments”Initiatives you can join”). It will be updated on a daily basis based on the info we will receive.
3D Printing companies increasingly contribute in this fight against COVID-19. One of the most significant contributions we have seen so far is to bring support to the medical industry in responding to shortage of equipment and fragile supply chains.
Initiatives you can join to support the healthcare community
Initiatives are popping all around the globe, most often on a local level. A first list of initiatives had been gathered by Women in 3D printing and shared below. Over time, other initiatives that came through our radar have been added. In case, you are willing to help, we’d share them below:
Added on April 20th
In one of the last virtual meetings of the MGA initiative 3D Printing fights Corona, the severe supply bottlenecks were also highlighted by the rescue service and disaster control of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. There is an urgent need for protective equipment for their more than 23,000 full-time staff and around 40,000 volunteers. The most pressing need concerns 5,000 protective face shields, which are applied during in-house trainings to protect all those who provide care every day and to adequately prepare them for the special circumstances of service.
As a result, MGA has now released a call-for-help to all printer manufacturers, 3D printing service providers and makerspaces seeking their support. The Johanniter Unfall-Hilfe e. V. is operating in almost 300 regional, district and local bodies throughout Germany and hence an integral part of the national healthcare system. Anyone willing and able to donate can find details and instructions on medicalgoesadditive.org
Added on March 30th
[Belgium:] Erasme Hospital and CHU Saint-Pierre Hospital have approved two models of face shields and curette to treat Covid-19 patients. They are now looking for 3D printers’ owners/manufacturers who can support them in the production of these equipment. A team of 3D Printer owners that is currently working on the production is looking for PLA & PETG materials for the fabrication of these products. Please, reach out to email@example.com if you are willing to provide them with these materials.
- Added on March 26th:
The France-held “3D print Congress & Exhibition” show renews the “Call to Action” launched by the Federation of the Plastics and Composites industry last week. France is urgently needing masks and medical equipment for healthcare staff. As said last week, any company that can respond to this need can get in touch with Marc MADEC – Tel: 06 08 49 10 64 – firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Added on March 23th : An initiative led by anesthesiology residents of Massachusetts General Hospital called the CoVent-19 Challengeis planning to ask engineers and designers to help develop a new rapidly deployable ventilator and other innovative solutions to the ventilator shortage.
- Added on March 20th: France is urgently needing masks and medical equipment for healthcare staff. The Federation of the Plastics and Composites industry calls for the support of 3D printing companies that have a production capacity to contact them in order to help with the production of this essential equipment. Marc MADEC – Tel: 06 08 49 10 64 – email@example.com
- Added on March 20th: The Montreal General Hospital Foundation , in collaboration with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), is launching a global innovation challenge, backed by a $200,000 CAD prize, calling for teams to design a simple, low-cost, easy-to-manufacture and easy-to-maintain ventilator which could be deployed anywhere needed to save lives. To motivate participation from local manufacturers, the institute encourages participants to submit provisional patents prior to the announcement of final designs, while granting license to local builders to manufacture their designs during the COVID crisis. Participants have until March 31st to submit their design proposal. The jury will select 3 finalist designs on April 15th and share them to medical professionals worldwide.
- The European Commission has called for printed components (masks and ventilators for respiratory equipment) to be made available. Mobility goes Additive has compiled all the information available here.
- Wallonia currently lacks protective masks. The region urgently needs a mask production capacity on its territory. If you are interested in this initiative, feel free to reach out to Sylvie Ponchaut,Managing Director at BioWin: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3DHEALS COVID19
- 3D Printer & Talent Public Crowdsourcing for COVID-19
- Coronavirus Makers
- Covent-19 challenge
- Low-Cost Open Source Ventilator
- mobilitygoesadditive & European Commission
- Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies
- Project Open Air
- Reddit discussion
- Specifications for simple open source mechanical ventilator Public
- UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Global Disability Innovation Hub
Responses of the 3D printing community
Added on April 1st
[United States] Solvay & Boeing join forces to produce COVID-19 face shields
With the goal of producing protective equipment for workers on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19, Solvay provides Boeing with high-performance, medical-grade transparent film.
Manufactured by Solvay’s Ajedium™ Films business, the film requires the use of Solvay’s medical-grade Radel® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) or Udel® polysulfone (PSU), two transparent specialty polymers widely used for medical devices because of their ability to be sterilized and withstand aggressive disinfectants.
The company has gathered a set of medical-grade materials on its website that might help manufacturers in this fight.
Added on March 26th
[Worldwide] 3D Systems offers its services and invites customers and partners to join them in sharing resources to help overcome this pandemic.
« If you are able to offer your engineering team’s time and expertise, or access to 3D printers, we would greatly appreciate your support. Conversely, if you are a medical device manufacturer, hospital, or healthcare provider that needs help to bridge a supply chain gap, please let us know of your needs. We will do everything possible to fulfill your request », said the company.
The company is currently exploring various solutions. A table has been made available on its Covid-19 page, so that any stakeholder who is willing to help, can join easily.
3D models that can be printed for the medical staff (and/or by the mass public)
Added on March 26th
[Worldwide – China] Farsoon and Partners share files of 3D printable equipment
During the outbreak in China, Farsoon Technologies collaborated with several partners including Peak Sports, to provide as much aid as possible to restock hospitals that lacked crucial equipment. The company has mainly manufactured safety goggles for hospitals in need. Today, the company shared the files for operators that would like to 3D print them for medical staff around the world.
Last but not least, the company invites people that would have any additive design applications which could help fight against Coronavirus to submit them here.
[Worldwide – Italy] Open source 3D Printed masks and helmets
In Italy, just like other Italian manufacturers such as Roboze, 3D printer manufacturer Wasp is not sleeping as well. Wasp has designed a mask with a replaceable filter printable using an implantable biomaterial, PCL (Polycaprolactone), which can be utilized for direct skin contact.
In the same vein, the manufacturer developed “My Space”, micro-droplets protection helmet with ventilation and filter. The product integrates an air-conditioned space, ventilated that protects from any virus. However, we haven’t received any confirmation if this helmet is properly efficient for medical use.
Given the importance of the crisis in Italy, WASP is available for research centers, universities, public and private bodies, to share knowledge and experience.
In the meantime, these solutions remain open source and instructions can be found on the company’s website.
[Worldwide] – NanoHack, an open-source protective mask
“In many countries the authorities have also recommended the use of masks (or similar) in public transport. These masks, despite being effective, also have some problems such as a short lifecycle (about 8 hours), and have another even more serious problem. Respiratory viruses, specifically SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) can live up to 72 hours on different surfaces. This is a problem since using a conventional mask, at the end of the day we would have a high viral/bacterial load trapped within millimeters of our nose and mouth, further exposing ourselves to these dangerous microbes”, explains Copper3D on its website.
To respond to this global pandemic, the producer of antibacterial 3D printing materials has therefore created Nanohack, an open source respirator mask. STL Files that can be printed are available to download on the company’s website.
[Worldwide] – Mass 3D printing of Medical Shields
In the same light, Prusa Research has been doing a lot of researches and has found out that “printing respirators might not be the best idea at this time.”
According to Prusa, we should absolutely take into account the porosity of the printed parts and the safety concerns that come from that. The thing is that the human face is a humid and warm place, therefore a perfect breeding ground for germs. In this regard, the wearer might not always be able to sterilize these masks effectively. This might result in even more problems. The company has therefore worked on another protective gear, that can be produced safely – and they have focused on a protective face shield for medical professionals. Obviously, they share the STL.file online for a worldwide use.
[Belgium] – 3D printable protective masks
Twikit has followed with a 3D printed made-to-fit mask for medical professionals offering more comfort during long days, supporting the benefit of being reusable. The company said that the mask has replaceable filters and can be disinfected.
Twikit has not yet announced if the file will be available opensource. They are currently looking for the certified filters: FFP2, FFP3, N95. Feel free to reach out to them if you have any info regarding that. The company also announced on its LinkedIn page that it has the support of large production companies for hospitals in need.
Distributed manufacturing: they are here to help
Medical professionals in need might find the responses of 3D printing companies in their region below.
Added on March 30th:
[Italy – Worldwide] Roboze has joined a few weeks ago the fight against Covid-19. The Italian-American manufacturer has printed hundreds of valves for Italy-based hospitals.
Those parts are supplied free of charge for artificial respirators for Covid-19 patients. The Roboze 3D Parts division does not intend to stop here. The company continues to receive requests from other Italian hospitals and around the world.
With the support of Dallara Automobili, Italy-based manufacturer of racing cars, and in collaboration with Isinnova, the 3D printer manufacturer will start the production of hospital C-PAP masks for Sub-intensive therapy.
From now on, a focus of the company will be to leverage its network of 3D parts centers to help meet the demand in other countries.
Added on March 26th:
[Italy]: CRP Technology makes its 3D printing technology available to biomedical companies and hospitals
The specialist of 3D printing motorsport applications announced its willingness to help the medical staff.
Today, the company has already produced several functional prototypes of emergency valves for reanimation device and link-components for emergency respiratory mask for assisted ventilation. They produced the “Charlotte valves” designed by starup Isinnova. As a reminder, “usage by the patient is subjected to the acceptance of use of an uncertified biomedical device, by providing a signed declaration”.
Added on March 23rd: [USA]: Stratasys has set an initial goal of producing 5,000 3D printed face shields by Friday, March 27, at no cost to the recipients. A US-based hospital told Stratasys they use 1,530 disposable face shields every week even without the surge created by COVID-19 and is down to six days’ inventory on hand, with the pandemic still building momentum.
Spanning its GrabCAD software, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and partner network with donated printing capacity across all regions, the FDM & Polyjet technologies specialist will produce 5000 face shields for that hospital by Friday, March 27th.
In the same vein, medical technology specialist Medtronic and Minneapolis-based Dunwoody College of Technology will provide support for the plastic shield material. To process requests from hospitals or organizations easily, the manufacturer has created a web page where hospitals can request 3D printed products to help with the crisis, organizations offer 3D printing capacity, or request 3D printers or material for medical- or safety-related purposes. In this regard, further instructions regarding the assembly of this mask will be posted on that webpage today.
[Worldwide]: Ultimaker is making its global network of 3D printing hubs, experts, and designers directly available to hospitals, through ultimaker.com. “Our designers and engineers will help healthcare professionals design parts and tools that can then be printed by the nearest 3D printing hub”, announced the company.
[France]: Many French 3D printing service providers & 3D printing companies have formally announced that they are willing to support hospitals & medical staff in need if required. They include: Silex3D Print,ERPRO, TH Industries, Gryp3D, MK3D , BombyxProd as well as Bone3D.
[Spain]: BCN3D offers itsown printfarm, composed by a total of 63 machines (FFF technology 3Dprinters: Sigma, Sigmax and BCN3D Epsilon). Those 3D printers could be used for any projects that would contribute the most to the public benefit in these hard times. For any requests, please, reach out to email@example.com.
Please note that the European Commission strongly encourage AM companies to contribute when possible to the fight against COVID-19. They are currently working on legal issues to protect them.
Missing an initiative here? Do you want to share your expertise in this fight against COVID-19? Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can update this article.
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