3D Printing: COVID-19 Response, 4/3

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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.

Massivit 3D

  • 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.

Source Graphics

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."

Northwell Health

  • 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


  • 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."
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3D Printing: COVID-19 Response, Pt. 2, 4/3

We found information about how Stratasys, Protolabs, Materialise, and HP have marketed their initiatives in response to COVID-19 during the past week of March 28-April 3, 2020 (for HP, we only focused on its 3D printing segment). We looked for, but were unable to find any such information for Xerox from the past week. We reviewed Xerox's website, social media channels, press releases, and blogs, but not one of those sources contained any information published within the past week about how the company has marketed its initiatives in response to COVID-19 (as the information was either posted prior to the past week or did not include a date).


1. Social Media

A. Facebook

  • Stratasys has posted five times on Facebook within the past week, all of which were about COVID-19.
  • The first post feature photos sent to the company from Fairview Health Services Southdale Hospital of its employees wearing face shields made by Stratasys and expressing their thanks to Stratasys for sending the shields.
  • The second post is about the company's COVID-19 initiative and features a video showing how the face shields are made.
  • The third post is about Stratasys's involvement as a supplier for "the largest in-hospital #3Dprinting center[, which] is taking place in France to fight against #COVID19."
  • The messaging in those first three posts focuses on how humbled the company is to be involved in the fight against the pandemic by supporting those on the front lines.
  • The fourth post is an announcement the company made on April 1, 2020, about the launch of its "latest GrabCAD Challenge" called CoVent-19 Challenge. That challenge "is an open innovation challenge to develop rapidly deployable solutions for the #COVID19 mechanical ventilator crisis."
  • The company posted an article online explaining the challenge in detail.
  • The fifth post was an announcement about the upcoming launch of the aforementioned CoVent-19 Challenge. Stratasys has promoted the challenge with the tagline "Innovate2Ventilate."

B. Twitter

2. Blog

  • Stratasys has been using its blog as a channel through which it's discussing its COVID-19 efforts within the past week.
  • Within the past week, the company has published two blog posts about COVID-19.
  • The first blog post discusses the face shields that the company is manufacturing, its COVID-19 initiative, instructions for others about how to produce face shields, and a call-to-action for others to join its initiative and help manufacture more face shields using 3D printing.
  • The second blog post is about frequently asked questions regarding the company's COVID-19 efforts, such as ways that other companies can get involved, resources for companies looking to manufacture face shields, product specifications, and general contact information and instructions.

3. Press Releases

  • Stratasys has also been issuing press releases online about its efforts in fighting the pandemic.
  • Within the past week, there has only been one press release, which was about the company's CoVent-19 Challenge.


1. Social Media

A. Facebook

  • Within the past week, Protolabs has posted five times on Facebook about its COVID-19 initiatives.
  • One such post is about the company's R.E.D. Friday initiative, which stands for "Remember Everyone Deployed" (referring to military troops). The company recently added wording to the back of the t-shirts that its employees wear as part of the initiative, which states "PROTOLABS WED fighting COVID-19 one part at a time." The post ends by the company expressing its gratitude to its employees for playing their part in combating COVID-19.
  • On April 2, 2020, Protolabs posted on Facebook that it "just expedited our first set of 3,000 3D-printed parts going toward the fight of COVID-19. These Stereolithography parts are fulfilling a critical order for a ventilator production manufacturer that required high strength and accuracy in its components."
  • In a post on April 1, 2020, the company announced that in a matter of five days, it had designed, constructed, and manufactured more than 100,000 parts for "a large ventilator manufacturer."
  • The company also congratulated one of its customers "for gaining FDA emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 test."

B. Twitter

  • Protolabs has used Twitter to market its COVID-19 initiatives, but the content posted therein is the same as what the company posted on Facebook (as is described above).

C. Instagram

  • Protolabs has used Instagram to market its COVID-19 initiatives.
  • In the past week, Protolabs has posted three times about its COVID-19 initiatives. Two of those posts are ones the company posted on Facebook and Twitter.
  • In the other post, Protolabs thanks its employees who have been working hard to keep up with demand due to the pandemic, along with the message "[a]nd to our customers in need of critical #COVID19 medical components — we got you."


  • Protolabs has used its blog, The Digital Thread, as a channel to discuss COVID-19 initiatives.
  • So far, there has only been one article about COVID-19, which was published within the past week.
  • That blog post discusses how manufacturers are swiftly responding to supply shortages across the globe due to the pandemic.


1. Social Media

A. Facebook

  • Within the past week, Materialise has posted six times on Facebook about marketing its initiatives in response to COVID-19.
  • The first post states the following (pertaining to 3D printing): "Connectivity and community matter now more than ever. Stay up to date with our latest medical webinars, inspirational customer stories and digital features to advance your working knowledge from home."
  • The second post promotes an upcoming webinar the company is hosting about utilizing AM software from home.
  • The third post highlights innovative, 3D-printed products that are helping medical professionals globally amidst the pandemic.
  • The fourth post informs customers about a virtual assistant the company just added to a few of its web pages, in order to a help customers since in-person meetings can't currently happen.
  • The fifth post promoted a webinar that Materialise hosted on April 1, 2020, on the topic of how supply chains worldwide will be affected by COVID-19.
  • The sixth post was about "how 3D printing at the point-of-care can" help to combat the pandemic.

B. Twitter

  • Within the past week, Materialise has posted seven times on Twitter about its COVID-19 initiatives.
  • All but one of those posts were also posted on the company's Facebook (and thus previously addressed above).
  • The one post that the company shared on Twitter, but not on Facebook, was about how 3D printing is enabling scuba gear to be made "into oxygen masks" as a result of the pandemic.

2. Blog

  • Materialise has used its blog as a channel to market its COVID-19 initiatives within the past week.
  • The company has posted two blog articles within the past week.
  • The first blog post addresses how the 3D printing industry has developed innovative solutions to issues or needs raised during the pandemic.
  • The second blog post is about trends in "point-of-care 3D printing", which directly relates to innovative 3D printing solutions for pandemics such as COVID-19.


1. Website

  • HP has used its website within the past week to market its 3D printing initiatives pertaining to COVID-19. HP last updated those web pages on April 2, 2020.
  • On its website, HP has information about design files that people can download for constructing 3D-printed products for healthcare workers such as face shields, how it's developing nasopharyngeal swabs for mass production, ventilator parts, FFP3 masks, products it currently sells such as field respirators and half-masks, and a resource for "[f]ind[ing] an HP 3D printing partner to expedite production of medical supplies, equipment or devices."
  • We checked HP's social media channels, blogs, and press releases, but none of those sources contained any information from the past week about the company's 3D printing-related COVID-19 initiatives.

From Part 02