3D Printing: COVID-19 Response, Pt. 1, 4/3
Several updates from the 3D printing industry, in terms of how COVID-19 has impacted the industry during the past seven days, involve the companies Massivit 3D, Source Graphics, SYS, Northwell Health, and Essentium. We also found a report from Statista published within the past week regarding production of PPE equipment from various 3D printing companies.
- On April 2, 2020, it was reported that Massivit 3D Printing Technologies has "devot[ed] all of its manufacturing resources to producing" face shields.
- The company is also "mobilizing its network of over 100 customers and distributors worldwide . . . [to create and produce] ergonomic PPE Face Shields."
- The face shields being made by Massivit 3D are for local hospitals (Massivit is based in Israel).
- During an eight-hour shift, a "Massivit 1800 3D printer . . . [can] produce 200 face shields."
- The company posted this video to YouTube on April 1, 2020, showing how it's making the face shields.
- Massivit 3D made publicly available its "optimized 3D print files of the newly developed face shields."
- The article also stated that "[t]he Massivit 3D global network of customers and distributors are also making Massivit 3D printers available for this effort, supplying face shields to health workers in their countries. Customers who participate in this initiative have been guaranteed a donation of printing gel by Massivit 3D."
- The response from the company's customers has been swift, as they "have already started producing the face shields for their local health workers in" the U.S., Australia, Italy, Thailand, Canada, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain.
- On April 3, 2020, PR Newswire reported that the Anaheim, California-based company Source Graphics is offering 3D printing services to healthcare facilities "at a highly discounted rate and [with] priority turnaround time."
- Source Graphics has already started producing face shields.
- The company is currently "prototyping other parts such as ventilator splitters."
New Initiative from SYS
- An article dated April 2, 2020, reported that SYS, a company based in Derbyshire, U.K., "is using its range of Stratasys 3D printers at its additive manufacturing cent[er] headquarters to create as many of the" face shields as it is able to.
- SYS is making the face shields for staff members at the U.K.'s National Health Service and other front-line responders.
- SYS "has also contacted all customers who own the relevant 3D printers which are required to do the work and sent them clear, Stratasys-approved designs and instructions to get started."
- SYS's customers who are able to mass-produce face shields or visors "but who do not have a customer for them are being urged to send them to SYS Systems for wider distribution."
- SYS "is also making its 3D printers available for bureau work to ease the pressure being heaped on UK manufacturers by the coronavirus pandemic, with staff shortages and supply chain disruptions taking place."
- An article published April 2, 2020, reported that "a Northwell Health physician, a respiratory therapist, and a 3D printing bioengineer have successfully designed the protocol to turn the more common bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machine into a functional invasive mechanical ventilator, through a 3D printed adaptor they also designed to aid in the conversion."
- BiPAP machines are able to be covereted via "a small, plastic T-piece adapter."
- The T-piece was created within just a few days, as a swift response to anticipated ventilator shortages.
- The 3D Design & Innovation department at Northwell Health collaborated with Stanley John and Dr. Cassiere to create the adapter.
- Northwell Health used its 3D printers to print the adapters.
- Northwell Health, in a span of 24 hours, could 3D "print 150 adapt[e]rs."
- In addition to creating 3D-printed parts for its internal use, "Northwell Health will share the new protocols to convert the BiPAP machine as well as share the T-adapter 3D print design online."
- The adapter that Northwell Health created with its 3D printers has been tested and the organization has increased its "production to adopt the 3D printed adapt[e]r clinically in the coming days."
Statista Data Reported March 31, 2020
- Statista reported the "[n]umber of parts produced" by companies that specialize in 3D printing, as well as other types of companies, in response to COVID-19. Below are the quantities produced by those companies.
- 3D Hubs (a 3D printing manufacturer based in the Netherlands): 20,000 face shields produced, as part of a "coordinated effort through the COVID-19 Manufacturing Fund."
- Prusa Research (a "3D printing company . . . [based in the] Czech Republic"): 10,000 face shields
- Stratasys (a U.S. manufacturer specializing in 3D printing): 5,000 full-face shields had been produced as of March 27, 2020
- Photocentric (a U.K. company specializing in 3D printing): 6,000 respirator valves produced during a trial run, with a potential weekly "capacity of 40,000."
- Formlabs (a U.S. company specializing in 3D printing): 300 test swabs created in a single batch, with a potential daily capacity ranging between 75,000 and 150,000
- Isinnova (an Italian engineering firm): 100 respirator valves created in a day
- On April 3, 2020, Essentium, Inc. "announced that it has designed, and is now in production of, a protective mask kit comprising a reusable 3D printed mask frame and filtration media."
- The mask was designed "for general non-medical use during [the] COVID-19 epidemic, based on FDA Emergency Use Authorization."
- Essentium is making the masks for first responders.
- The first order of Essentium's masks was delivered to the City of Pflugerville’s Community Development Corp.
- The company "anticipates initial production capacity to be 5,000 units per week."
- The frame of the resuable mask "is made with material known as Essentium TPU74D (thermoplastic urethane) which allows for easy cleaning, and is used with a single-use, replaceable filtration media."
- Essentium "has made the design of the mask freely available through the National Institute of Health (NIH) open source model."