3D Printing: COVID-19 Response, 3/27

Part
01
of two
Part
01

3D Printing: COVID-19 Response, Pt. 1 3/27

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen 3D printers like Stratasys, HP, Protolabs, and Formlabs offer their manufacturing tools to help in the printing of medical equipment that is needed in the fight against the new Coronavirus flu. 3D printing companies are also forming partnerships with medical healthcare facilities, and are calling on customers to join efforts in offering their equipment and assist healthcare providers. Initiatives like ConVent-19 have also been created to bring together engineers and designers of 3D hardware in the wake of the new Coronavirus. The pandemic has also seen digital printing companies being deemed as "essential" in the fight. Other changes as a result of the virus include; the wavering of additional fees for medical equipment, and the entry of automotive companies in the 3D printing of critical medical supplies.

3D printer manufacturers are offering to assist in the printing of vital medical supplies.

Stratasys

HP

Protolabs

  • Protolabs, another 3D printing company, is tweeting the progress of its ventilator parts assembly.
  • On Sunday, Protolabs announced that it had "14 molding presses, that were loaded with ventilator parts" with thousands of other completed parts ready for distribution to hospitals.

Formlabs


Private owners of 3D printers are joining efforts to prevent COVID-19 fatalities

Initiatives and calls for engineers to help develop critical supply equipment

Digital printing companies are being deemed "essential" in the fight against Coronavirus

3D companies are collaborating with hospitals, universities, and other organizations in providing full support to healthcare providers.

Companies with 3D printers are joining in the manufacturing of medical equipment.

Medical supply fees are being waived, and design files for critical components offered for free

Part
02
of two
Part
02

3D Printing: COVID-19 Response, Pt. 2 3/27

Stratasys, Protolabs, Materialise, and HP are actively communicating their response to the COVID-19 in the 3D printing space. Information such as their approach, type of messaging used, channels, and response from customers and the public is listed below.

Stratasys

  • Stratasys is actively communicating their response to the COVID-19 through its website and social media. They have made 7 Facebook posts on the topic during the past week.
  • The company has dedicated the most prominent sections of its website homepage to summarize their efforts to respond to the pandemic and provide a link to further details.
  • One such example is a form to allow visitors to offer available 3D printing capabilities or to request for protective shields, medical components, or 3D printers and materials. Stratasys also created a dedicated page to educate and help users to manufacture face shields. The company’s VP of Public Relations has explained and summarized their response to the pandemic in a separate page.
  • Stratasys mainly focuses on facts and the steps taken by the company during the pandemic with minimal repetition and elaboration. The company uses a direct tone and includes several technical jargons aimed at manufacturers. The message always ends with a call to action, prompting the visitor to contact the company or to join its network.
  • Stratasys also provides more frequent updates on its effort to assist with the pandemic on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. This usually involves a short description and photos that capture their latest achievements, such as completing a recent shipment of face shields.
  • Such posts garner between 1-10 positive comments on their Facebook page. Their efforts are covered by digital publications such as Business Wire, The Engineer magazine, and ZDNet.

Protolabs

  • Protolabs is actively communicating their response to the COVID-19 through its website and social media. They have made 10 Facebook posts on the topic during the past week.
  • The company has a section on its website homepage that links to a page with updates its efforts to respond to the pandemic.
  • The page mainly highlights their availability to continue to serve customers and healthcare needs and updates are sorted chronologically with dates. Protolabs mainly focuses on providing information regarding the status of their operations on the site to customers and to clarify the priorities of the company during the epidemic.
  • The company posts more updates on its effort to assist with the pandemic on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and YouTube. This usually involves a description of the effort, the context, and photos that capture their latest achievements such as completing the design and manufacturing of medical components.
  • The hashtag "#protolabsproud" is featured in such posts. The company applies an inspiring persona and uses common words to explain their efforts to the public. Explainers in video format are used to clarify their initiatives in depth.
  • The top post on their Facebook page garners close to 150 reactions and 90 shares. In addition, their efforts are covered by digital publications such as ZDNet, Medical Plastics News, and Technology Review.

Materialise

  • Materialise is actively communicating their response to the COVID-19 through its website and social media. They have made 2 Facebook posts on the topic during the past week.
  • The company has a section on its website homepage that links to dedicated pages for their latest innovations and press release.
  • The product page provides an elaborative description with storytelling elements showcasing the development in a format close to case studies. Information presented on the page includes the context of the innovation, user testimonials, instructions to print, illustrations, and downloadable design files. Materialise has also made the press kit, which contains professional photos and videos of the innovation available for download.
  • In addition, the company has shared company updates and content such as productivity tips on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and YouTube. The company has also communicated its offer to allow software licenses to be operated from home through social media.
  • Materialise uses an empathetic tone when presenting tips and offers to customers on their social media accounts. The company applies an inspiring persona when presenting their latest designs and efforts to help during the crisis.
  • The top post on their Facebook page garners close to 100 reactions and 80 shares. In addition, their efforts are covered by digital publications such as Business Insider, Guardian, and Fast Company.

HP

  • HP is actively communicating their response to the COVID-19 through its website and social media. They have made 1 Facebook post on the topic during the past week.
  • The company has a section on its 3D printer’s main page that links to a dedicated page that details its response to the pandemic in the 3D printing space.
  • The page mainly features the design files for various healthcare products available for download and uses concise and direct messaging. The page is aimed to help inform and enable owners of their 3D printers to help the healthcare industry by manufacturing the parts by listing technical information on suitable printing materials.
  • A separate press release summarizes their efforts to manufacture more parts for medical professionals.
  • HP also has a form that allows visitors to offer available 3D printing capabilities or to request for medical parts.
  • The company has a single social media post to communicate the press release on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. It is the only post that discusses the company’s response to COVID-19 in the 3D printing space.
  • The post garnered 1,800 reactions and close to 1,000 shares. In addition, their efforts are covered by digital publications such as Yahoo Finance, TechRadar, and Forbes.

Xerox

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "“We are humbled by the opportunity to help. We see additive manufacturing as an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 global epidemic,” said Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif. “The strengths of 3D printing – be anywhere, print virtually anything, adapt on the fly – make it a capability for helping address shortages of parts related to shields, masks, and ventilators, among other things. Our workforce and partners are prepared to work around the clock to meet the need for 3D printers, materials, including biocompatible materials, and 3D-printed parts.” Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif."
Quotes
  • "We’ve recently been deemed an essential business and will remain open during this crisis for our customers. "
Quotes
  • ""Quick Sunday morning update. 14 molding presses loaded with ventilator parts with thousands alread completed and ready to go to our customer for final assembly and distribution to hospitals! #FightCOVID19 #ProtolabsPROUD""
Quotes
  • ""Proud to partner with @UMNews on this innovative ventilator that went from concept to prototype over night - literally. Now on to FDA approval and fight against #COVID19. University of Minnesota is going 'full-on MacGyver' against COVID-19""
Quotes
  • ""We're working w/ 3 hospitals around the US to 3D print swabs for #COVID19 testing. ~300 can be printed per build w/ the same material as Surgical Guide Resin. This is undergoing clinical evaluation. Between Formlabs + our volunteer network, we have 1,000 printers ready to help.""
Quotes
  • ""We have many customers in the healthcare space already using Formlabs’ products to test applications for COVID-19 related projects, and recently launched the Formlabs Support Network for COVID-19 Response. This is an initiative to match healthcare organizations and providers with Formlabs customers who are willing to use their printers and volunteer their time to help address critical supply chain shortages and other healthcare needs. We are working closely with health systems, government agencies, and our network of over 1,500 volunteers to help design, prototype, and produce parts to be tested and potentially adopted by clinicians.""
Quotes
  • ""The problem is that the lines that have been in place produce hundreds or thousands. We're talking about needing hundreds of thousands," Jim Hackett said on "CBS This Morning." "So we're talking about early June, where we don't think it's a problem, but between now and June it's about ramping up.""
Quotes
  • "“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”"
Quotes
  • "“Medical equipment is a new field for us. But as soon as we understand the requirements, and receive a blueprint, we can get started,” Volkswagen said, adding that prototype components had been printed and its Skoda arm was included in the project."
Quotes
  • ""The strengths of 3D printing – be anywhere, print virtually anything, adapt on the fly – make it a capability for helping address shortages of parts related to shields, masks, and ventilators, among other things," Calling additive manufacturing "an essential part" of the pandemic response, he said Stratasys' workforce and partners "are prepared to work around the clock to meet the need for 3D printers, materials, including biocompatible materials, and 3D-printed parts." Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif said in a statement. "We are collaborating across borders and industries to identify the parts most in need, validate the designs, and begin 3D printing them," CEO Enrique Lores said in a statement. "In times like these, it is incumbent on all of us do what we can to help those in need however we can," SmileDirectClub CEO David Katzman said in a statement. "Reports of medical supply shortages are very concerning and we have the production capacity to help in the printing of plastic materials." "
From Part 02