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3D Printing Community responds to COVID-19 and Coronavirus resources

How is the 3D printing community responding to COVID-19?

*THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED DAILY*

As the now pandemic Coronavirus takes hold over the globe, we see countries implementing travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and work from home policies. Even the more developed countries are seeing their healthcare systems overloaded and fatigued by COVID-19.

In the more severe cases of the respiratory illness, patients may require specialist respirators to take over the role of the lungs. These respirators are in short supply, however, along with medical personnel, hospital space and other personal safety equipment required to treat patients.

Professional AM providers, makers and designers in the 3D printing community have already begun to respond to the global crisis by volunteering their respective skills to ease the pressure on supply chains and governments.

We will be updating this list of 3D printing resources linked to Coronavirus and COVID-19.

If you would like to discuss or organize the 3D printing projects during the Coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, join the 3D Printing Industry Discord server.

Calls to action and co-ordinating the COVID-19 response

The additive manufacturing and 3D printing community has many members keen to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a summary of current calls to action and efforts to co-ordinate a response. Please contact us if you would like to add further information.

CECIMO issues call to action

The European Association for Additive Manufacturing  (CECIMO) is responding to a request from the European Commission. Members are been queried on whether they are able to aid in producing medical equipment for hospitals tackled the COVID-19 outbreak. Examples of medical equipment include valves and ventilators. 

CECIMO has extended the call to include all AM companies within Europe. So far, the response has been positive with, “many companies from the European 3Dprinting industry already volunteering to aid hospitals and health centers by proposing the use of their machines.”

The Association notes the legal constraints of producing medical equipment and has also suggested that Member States consider a temporary waiver of certain Medical Device Directive requirements.

Filip Geerts, CECIMO Director General, said “I believe that the additive manufacturing sector can play an important role in sustaining the effort of hospital workers in the middle of this emergency. However, it is in the best interest of all to clarify the regulatory issues in order to move forward quickly and in a way that is not going to delay immediate actions”. 

To be part of this initiative please contact Filip Geerts, CECIMO Director General ([email protected]) or Vincenzo Belletti, Policy Innovation Manager ([email protected]).

HHS Solicits Proposals for Development of Medical Products for Novel Coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has updated a broad agency announcement (BAA) to focus specifically on products to diagnose, prevent or treat coronavirus infections.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), issued the BAA, BAA-18-100-SOL-00003-Amendment 13, to solicit proposals for advanced development and licensure of COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, or medicines such as therapeutics or antivirals.

“Amid the expanding global outbreak of COVID-19, Americans need diagnostics, vaccines, and medicines to mitigate the potential impact of this virus”, said BARDA Director Rick Bright, Ph.D. “To accelerate the availability of these lifesaving tools, BARDA took an important step today to request proposals for development of COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, or therapeutics, many of which will be developed using existing platform technologies to permit rapid development.”

More information is available here.

Central hubs connecting makers and medicine

A public Google Sheet was set up to gather makers from all four corners of the world to provide their 3D printing services for components like the oxygen valves. There is a submission form available for makers who would like to take part.

A similar initiative was organized by Formlabs, whereby a support network connecting available makers to projects in need of production was set up in a Twitter post. Both the makers seeking to make a difference and the projects in need of aid can participate by filling out this online form. Formlabs will connect relevant parties to each other and support the projects where it can.

3D printing resources and Coronavirus projects 

This section details the resources released and projects undertaken by individuals and companies in the fight against the Coronavirus.

It is worth noting at this stage the old adage, “just because something can be 3D printed, doesn’t mean it should be 3D printed.” While the innovative spirit and resourcefulness of the 3D printing community is admirable, medical devices are complicated and reverse engineering can have unforeseen consequences.

Italian hospital turns to 3D printed oxygen valves

A hospital in Brescia with 250 Coronavirus patients requiring breathing machines has recently run out of the respiratory valves needed to connect the patients to the machines. The original supplier was unable to meet the sudden high demand and the hospital quickly found itself in a crisis. Quick to respond to the situation, Cristian Fracassi, CEO of Isinnova, a Brescia-based engineering firm, used 3D printing to meet the hospital’s demands and, resultantly, patients’ lives were saved.

The CEO and his colleague, Alessandro Romaioli, initially visited the hospital directly to inspect the valves themselves and went about rapidly creating a prototype. After testing it on a patient successfully, Isinnova teamed up with local manufacturing company Lonati to mass produce the valves. Lonati’s SLS 3D printer along with Issinova’s six in-house 3D printers were put to work and the Italian duo managed to produce 100 respirator valves in 24 hours. The valves are currently being put to use in the Brescian hospital.

Fracassi now faces potential legal action from the company that owns the patent for the oxygen valves.

SexyCyborg offers to catch IP lawsuits for 3D printed components

Isinnova is not the only party to potentially face getting caught up in IP infringement lawsuits in the coming weeks. Naomi ‘SexyCyborg’ Wu, a prominent technology YouTuber from Shenzhen, China, has offered to face IP lawsuits on behalf of clinicians looking to 3D print patented components for respirators.

“I have the support of a good Chinese IP lawyer on this,” Wu states in a recent Twitter post. “I will get [the part] reverse engineered and serve as a team’s human shield/patent bullet catcher in China.”

Materialise releases hands-free door handle attachment

Materialise, a global provider of 3D printing services, has released files for a 3D printed hands-free door handle attachment to alleviate Coronavirus transmission via one of the most common mediums.

Door handles are subjected to a lot of physical contact over the course of a day, especially in public spaces such as offices and hospitals. This makes them a hotspot for microbes to hitch a ride on our palms and fingertips. The 3D printable add-on allows users to carry out the lever action required to pop open most modern doors using their elbows.

The file for the door handle attachment is available to download for free. The assembly comes in two parts and will require four screws and four nuts to secure it.

3D printed hand sanitizer holder

For those that have no choice but to touch door handles, an engineer specializing in surgical 3D printing in Saudi Arabia has designed a 3D printable wrist clasp to hold a bottle of sanitizer for easy access.

The simple design was realized by Moath Abuaysha, who aims to cleanse hands globally of the Coronavirus. The wrist attachment allows users to lather up their palms in antiseptic gel at a moment’s notice without actually having to hold and potentially contaminate the bottle. It also acts as a constant reminder to practise proper hygiene at such a critical time.

3D printed hand sanitizer clasp. Photo via Moath Abuaysha.
3D printed hand sanitizer clasp. Photo via Moath Abuaysha.

Protolabs helps customers respond to pandemic

Protolabs is a leading on-demand manufacturer with 3D Printing, CNC Machining, and Injection Moulding systems. The company is well known is the AM world and is putting its expertise and rapid production methods to good use during the current Coronavirus outbreak. A recent post on the company’s Twitter account describes some of the work undertaken and shows how digital manufacturing can provide a fast response in times of crisis.

“We already have a number of customers who’ve reached out to us for help in expediting the production of components for #COVID19 test kits and ventilators. Working on a 10,000 run part order to be shipped out tomorrow. Never been more proud to do what we do! #digitalmanufacturing

The first box containing components for COVID-19 test kits was shipped on Thursday 19th March, a turnaround of only 24 hours.

3D printable face masks

The utility of facemasks is a topic the World Health Organization has provided detailed information on. It is worth noting that any facemask will accumulate germs and the warm and wet environment can provide a haven for germs if not cleaned or disposed of.

Print farms for the masses

Barcelona-based BCN3D has offered up its own in-house print farm of 63 machines to combat the medical device shortage around the world. The company will be choosing from scientifically validated, safe projects to undertake.

Those with new ideas are encouraged to contact BCN3D at [email protected].

California-based Airwolf3D have had a similar idea, as they volunteer their own fleet of 3D printers for the manufacturing of respirator valves and custom medical components. The company is also offering remote technical support for medical staff that would like to know more about 3D printing.

Airwolf3D can be contacted at [email protected].

An unnamed large-scale PPE manufacturer in China has also fired up its farm of more than 200 Flashforge Guider II 3D printers to mass produce safety goggles for healthcare professionals. It took the company’s engineers just under two weeks to design, refine and finalize the 3D printable safety eyewear before sticking the Flashforge workhorses in overdrive. More than 5000 pairs of 3D printed safety goggles have been fabricated and donated to Chinese hospitals to date, with the company producing a further 2000 daily. The Chinese enterprise aims to ramp up daily production to 10000 pairs in the coming days and weeks.

Flashforge Guider II farm. Photo via Business Wire.
Flashforge Guider II print farm. Photo via Business Wire.

SmileDirectClub announces 3D printing facility for COVID-19 supplies

SmileDirectClub is a a Nashville-based teledentistry company more widely known for using 3D printing as part of a process to produce dental aligners. The company is a large scale manufacturer of medical devices and will be using its resources to establish a 3D printing facility focused on producing medical supplies required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CEO David Katzman said, “Due to recent automations that increased our printing output capacity, we’re able to easily add this production to our current clear aligner therapy lines. We urge any company or health organization that could use additional production resources to reach out to us directly.”

3D printed quarantine booths for Chinese hospitals

Winsun, an architectural 3D printing company based in China, has dispatched 15 3D printed quarantine rooms to Xianning Central Hospital in the Hubei Province.

The hospital is just outside Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, so it felt the brunt of the force when COVID-19 had just started spreading. A lack of hospital beds quickly became a pressing issue for staff as the number of patients increased exponentially in the first few weeks of the spread.

Using solid urban construction waste, Winsun crushed, ground and fabricated small individual quarantine booths to receive the stress on the hospital’s facilities. The rooms’ interiors are decorated and have their own water and electricity supplies. According to Winsun, the printed walls are 3x stronger than traditional concrete walls.

Winsun hoisting and installing its 3D printed quarantine booths. Photo via Winsun.
Winsun hoisting and installing its 3D printed quarantine booths. Photo via Winsun.

3D Printing events rescheduled due to Coronavirus and virtual events available

The 3D printing event season has seen widespread disruption due to the understandable decision to limit social contact. Many events scheduled to take place in the coming months have been canceled or postponed. However, a number of enterprising organizations are moving events online.

3D Heals postpones face to face meetups and moves 3DHEALS2020 event online

3D Heals is a global platform focused on healthcare 3D printing and bioprinting, and related technologies. The organization hosts regular meetups around the world bringing medical professionals together with AM experts. The enterprises founder, Jenny Chen, M.D., has taken the sensible decision to postpone such community meetings until summer and fall. “Little inconveniences in life can mean so much more to our vulnerable populations, frontline healthcare workers, and our loved ones,” said Jenny Chen in an email to members. 

However, there is a silver lining. The organizations’ main conference 3DHEALS2020 will now go ahead online. Meaning that many more are likely to be able to attend. The virtual meeting is scheduled for June 5th and June 6th. The new event ticket is $100, and the keynote speeches will be available to the public for free.

As Chen writes, “We can’t let COVID-19 stifle innovations.” More information about 3DHEALS2020 is available here.

Monday 23rd March COVID-19 Update

Medically validated Leitat 1 respirator enabled by 3D printing

A consortium comprised of HP, Seat, Navantia, and Airbus working with the Zona Franca Consortium (CZFB) and led by the Leitat technology center has developed a production-ready respirator. A lack of respiration equipment has been reported in several countries.

Pieces of the respirator are 3D printable and the project is part of an ongoing initiative launched by CZFB last week. The Leitat 1 was designed by Leitat engineer Magí Galindo and medically validated by Dr. Lluís Blanch, Innovation Director of the Parc Taulí Hospital in Sabadell, an expert in mechanical ventilation. 

As reported by El Periódico de Catalunya, a daily newspaper in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, initial daily production of the medical device will begin at between 50 to 100 units, with production then ramping up. Large scale production of the Leitat 1 is planned.

The Leitat 1 has already been tested at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and the Parc Taulí in Sabadell using an artificial lung. An improved model is also in the pipeline called the Leitat 2.

Leitat 1 3D printing enabled respirator.
Leitat 1 3D printing enabled respirator.

Volkswagen plans to use 3D printing to produce ventilators for hospitals 

Volkswagen has announced a task force that will assess and adapt its car-making capacity and manufacturing facilities to the production of hospital ventilators and medical devices. Volkswagen has over 125 industrial 3D printers and is assessing how it can use 3D printing to produce in-demand medical equipment to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Medical equipment is a new field for us. But as soon as we understand the requirements, and receive a blueprint, we can get started,” said a spokesperson for Volkswagen.

Like other automakers, vehicle production has been put on hold over concerns about spreading Coronavirus and slowing demand for cars. Volkswagen is also donating face masks, normally worn by workers, to healthcare providers and local authorities as part of an agreement made with German Health Minister Jens Spahn.

BCN3D and CIM UPC screwless hands-free 3D printed door handle opener

A new project from Barcelona’s BCN3D and the engineers at CIM-UPC extends the use of the hands-free door handle opener published by Materialise. The new 3D printable file is designed to be assembled using cable ties rather than screws. 

The Arm Door Opener is printed as a single piece on desktop 3D printers and can be made in under 4 hours. 

Download the CIM UPC COVID-19 hands-free screwless door opener here.

CIM UPC hands-free 3D printed door handle opener.
CIM UPC hands-free 3D printed door handle opener.

Stratasys to 3D print 5,000 full-face shields in under a week, plans to increase production 

Stratasys has mobilized its global 3D printing resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first project from 3D printer manufacturer will see 5,000 3D printed full-face shields produced by March 27th. The face shield has a 3D printed frame and transparent plastic shield to provide protection to healthcare workers, it will be provided a no cost to medical personnel.

Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif said. “Our workforce and partners are prepared to work around the clock.” The project was initiated after Stratasys learned from a leading hospital that in pre-COVID-19 times over 1,500 disposable face masks were used weekly. Due to increased pressure on resources, the hospital now has inventory for six days.

“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.”

Medical technology leader Medtronic and Minneapolis-based Dunwoody College of Technology will provide support for the plastic shield material.

Instructions on how to 3D print the full-face shield will be posted here later today.

Stratasys 3D printed face shield frame. Photo via Stratasys.
Stratasys 3D printed face shield frame. Photo via Stratasys.

CoVent-19 Innovation Challenge by Massachusetts General Hospital residents

The CoVent-19 Challenge is an open innovation effort to design a rapidly deployable mechanical ventilator. The challenge was started by residents at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGM), and the founding team of 13 people are primarily MDs. 

“The goal of the CoVent-19 Challenge is to increase the capacity of hospitals to provide mechanical ventilation. Our answer will be a rapidly deployable ventilation solution that we can use to close the gap between those in need and our actual resources in settings around the world.”

The challenge is supported by Stratasys, Ximedica, MGM and Valispace. Click here for more details about the CoVent-19 Innovation Challenge.

Prusa Research 3D prints 10,000 face shields

Face shields are attached to the wearer’s head and have a transparent visor that covers most of the user’s face to provide a degree of protection to healthcare workers. The protective equipment is disposable and as such supplies are under pressure during the pandemic. 

Writing on Twitter Josef Prusa gave an update on 3D printing these devices at his company, Prusa Research. The company has produced 10,000 3D printed face shields, to be specific the headband is the printed part, and will donate these items to the state in the company’s native Czech Republic. Prusa Research has also assembled a sterilization line to assist with production.

A freshly shaven Jo Prusa wearing the medical shield and googles. Photo via Jo Prusa.
A freshly shaven Jo Prusa wearing the medical shield and googles. Photo via Jo Prusa.

Autodesk to make design tools freely accessible

The US developer of software including BIM 360 Design, Fusion 360, Fusion Team, and AutoCAD Web will make these products, and selected others, free to access. “We are also working to ensure our customers have reliable access to their software and Autodesk support,” writes the company.

“One of the biggest challenges we’ve been hearing about from customers – and we’re facing this challenge at Autodesk ourselves – involves adapting to work in an environment that has become the new normal: more teams and more people working remotely or from home, creating an increased need to collaborate and stay connected. 

To better support customers facing this new reality, Autodesk is announcing a temporary Extended Access Program for several of our flagship cloud collaboration products. Let me be clear: we’re not introducing this program to convert customers into paying users.”

Today Autodesk is hosting an online session to answer questions about the products.

Photocentric demonstrates 3D printing venturi valves for respirators

The UK’s Photocentric has demonstrated its ability to 3D print valves for respirators with a trial run of 600 units. While the designs have not yet been approved for use in the ventilators the company is gearing up should it be required to produce the vital components. 

The comapny writes, “The majority of SLA prototype resins in the world are made from oxetane based cationic resins (3DS, DSM etc) and will not pass those tests because they are highly hydroscopic, whereas our chemistry will. They also would take an impractically long time to manufacture by laser beam. FDM does not provide high enough resolution (the internal air channel hole has a 1.0 mm internal diameter, making it difficult to manufacture), it cannot be autoclaved (as it is thermoplastic), it leaves a surface that is rough and corrugated and will harbour bacterial growth.”

Photocentric calculates that working 5 days a week and printing 24 hours a day the company’s inhouse 3D printers could produce more than 40,000 of the valves each week.

3D printed valves on the Photocentric LC Maximus. Photo via Photocentric.
3D printed valves on the Photocentric LC Maximus. Photo via Photocentric.

Roboze not slowing down in the fight against COVID-19

Italy has been hit extremely hard by Coronavirus and if anyone still needs a lesson in the seriousness of the situation the country is now full of heartbreaking individual stories. Yet despite the dire times, 3D printer manufacturer Roboze continues to provide critical assistance to those in need. 

Writing on LinkedIn CEO Alessio Lorusso describes the situation, 

We’ve received dozens of requests of help for critical components. We are supporting everyone for free. More than 25 machines in all the building are working day and night to provide all our support to face the emergency Covid19. For any need do not hesitate to contact us.

Now we are printing more than 100 urgent valves.

We will work non stop. 

Please, respect the work of all people who are working hard to give a contribution. Stay home.

Thanks.”

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE WEDNESDAY 25th MARCH 2020

An initial flurry of activity has seen the 3D printing community eager to provide assistance to healthcare providers. While the rush to help is heartening, it is still important to be mindful of the reality of the situation and bear in mind that just because something can be 3D printed, doesn’t mean it should. 

As previously noted, but worth reiterating, masks are an area where specific caution must be exercised. Masks are typically single-use items and while in high demand are frequently unsuited to basic FDM 3D printing set-ups. In today’s update we look at several initiatives where alternative approaches are taken.

Roboze makes design available to enable mass-production of face masks

Italy’s Roboze continues to work hard in the efforts to assist during the pandemic. An update from Roboze CEO Alessio Lorusso shows how the company is using it’s Argo 500 high-temperature FDM/FFF 3D printer to print molds that can be used to mass-produce face masks. The molds are 3D printed in PEEK, a material that is able to withstand the temperatures necessary to thermoform masks. 

Those interested in access to the design files should contact Roboze directly using the email in Lorusso’s LinkedIn post

Roboze 3D printed mold for production of face masks. Photo via Roboze.
Roboze 3D printed mold for production of face masks. Photo via Roboze.

iMakr delivers hundreds of 3D printed face shields to New York hospital

3D printing reseller iMakr has been working around the clock to build a new 3D printing farm in New York. The first results of the initiative have now born fruit and the company has donated its first print run of 3D printed face shields to St Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. 

Prior to producing the masks, iMakr established contact with the healthcare provider to ensure the items would be accepted – a practice worth bearing in mind for anyone attempting the same.

The company has ongoing efforts to produce vital PPE equipment and will be extending its efforts at locations across the world – including the iMakr facility in London.

iMakr engineer Jack Keum delivers the 3D printed face shield. Photo via iMakr.
iMakr engineer Jack Keum delivers the 3D printed face shield. Photo via iMakr.
A doctor at St Barnabas wears the 3D printed face shield. Photo via iMakr.
A doctor at St Barnabas wears the 3D printed face shield. Photo via iMakr.

Global Center for Medical Innovation publishes designs for PPE

GCMI, in partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Tech Pediatric Technology Center, has completed its first design files for those wishing to produce Face Shields for healthcare providers, the first in what they hope will be a series of designs for badly needed PPE items.

Download link is here.

Nanofabrica will host online brainstorming session

Today, Isreal-based micro AM platform developer Nanofabrica will host an online meeting to discuss the fightback against COVID-19.

The company will host a virtual roundtable on Wednesday, March 25th, at 16:00 GMT+2 and invites all interested parties to join a brainstorming session on how to use their manufacturing capabilities (3D printing with 1 micron resolution over cm sized volume) to fight COVID-19. 

Link to event: https://zoom.us/j/324801539

3D Printing Industry readers are also reminded that a dedicated Discord server is available where over a thousand members are engaged in similar activity, discussing Coronavirus projects and coordinating a response to COVID-19.To join the 3D printing COVID-19 server click here.

Ultimaker connects 3D Printing Hubs, experts, and Designers with hospitals

Ultimaker has launched the following initiatives on Ultimaker.com.

Connect and Print:

Hospitals that face acute shortages of critical parts and that have approved 3D print designs and material specifications already available can directly connect with 3D printing experts nearby to send their 3D print requests to be printed. Ultimaker makes in-house 3D printing capacity available as well. A continuously updated map shows which 3D printing hubs are available nearby.

Design, Check, and Print:

If a hospital needs help designing parts and tools that run out and are now in limited supply, Ultimaker is making a team of highly motivated designers and application engineers available to support in designing and creating the desired part. This part is printed by the nearest 3D print hub and sent to the hospital as soon as possible. After testing and receiving approval of the hospital, the part is available for further 3D printed production.

Siert Wijnia, Co-founder at Ultimaker said. “Hospital equipment parts might break or hospitals may run out of particular tools, for example. We are proud to see the 3D printing community come together to immediately print approved designs of objects that hospitals need right now. We hope these initiatives will help all hospitals understand where 3D printers, knowledge, and materials are available, so hospital staff can focus on what matters most: saving lives.”

“3D printing can make a difference,” added Jos Burger, CEO at Ultimaker. “We therefore invite all available 3D printing hubs equipped with Ultimaker 3D printers to make themselves visible through Ultimaker.com to accelerate the production of approved 3D printed parts, where they’re needed, when they’re needed. By unlocking the power of our network to support 3D print initiatives for hospitals worldwide, I am left humbled and honoured to be able to contribute in this challenging situation.”

3D Systems supports COVID-19 response

3D Systems has pledged support during the outbreak and has published a list of solutions it is exploring. The company also has a useful Q&A regarding frequently asked questions about how 3D printing can be used for the COVID-19 outbreak.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Question: Is it possible to 3D Print a N95 Face Mask or Respirator?
    Answer: Based on clinical research and technical feasibility it does not make sense to mass produce surgical masks or respirators using 3D printers.
  2. Question: Is it possible to 3D Print Face Shield Frames?
    Answer:

    • Yes – We are exploring several 3D Printed Face Shield Frame designs that can be printed with a variety of our technologies.
    • SLS machines like the ProX SLS 6100-3D Printer running a DuraForm PA (SLS) or DuraForm EX Natural (SLS) are the best options for quickly producing face shields from current designs. 
    • We are currently working with our On Demand Division to begin ramping up a bridge manufacturing effort to help get face shields to area hospitals.
  3. Question: Is it possible to 3D Print Nasal Swab Test Kits?
    Answer: We are currently testing various materials and designs to see if they meet the CDC standards for nasal swabs.
  4. Question: Is 3D Systems printing parts for COVID-19?
    Answer: We are currently manufacturing parts per requests from OEMS and other certified medical device manufacturers.
  5. Question:  Are 3D Systems OEM customers printing parts for COVID-19?
    Answer: Yes, 3D Systems OEM customers are printing parts for COVID-19. We are partners with service bureaus and OEM customers that utilize our technology to print parts.
  6. Question: Are there any 3D Systems medical education solutions?
    Answer: Simbionix has created a lung ultrasound simulation module that helps train users performing lung examinations.
  7. Question:  Does 3D Systems have medical-grade materials?
    Answer: Yes, we have a broad range of material across many technologies that can meet medical-grade specifications and biocompatibility..
  8. Question: Where is 3D Systems based?
    Answer: We have facilities around the world. Locations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.

HP brings its global resources and expertise to tackle Coronavirus

HP has stated its commitment to providing assistance, expertise, and equipment to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Enrique Lores, President, and CEO, HP Inc said. “HP and our digital manufacturing partners are working non-stop in the battle against this unprecedented virus. We are collaborating across borders and industries to identify the parts most in need, validate the designs, and begin 3D printing them. Our deepest appreciation goes to our employees, partners, customers, and members of our community for their tireless efforts to support the medical professionals making a difference on the front lines.”

The company is producing and sharing 3D printed PPE and has a page where prints can be requested.

CIIRC RP95 is a reusable 3D printable, certified FFP3 class safety half mask

HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology is producing a newly designed face mask that can be made on HP’s Multijet Fusion 540, but is more suitable for the 4200 and 5200. The masks are 3D printed in PA-12.

The Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRU CTU) has developed a new 3D printable respirator called the CIIRC RP95.

A statement from CIIRU reads, “We have successfully certified the 3D printing variant!

The CIIRC RP95-3D has been successfully tested and certified to EN 140:1999 as a FFP3 safety half mask. The mask is ready for external filter P3 R (manufactured by SIGMA Lutín). The connection diameter is not important, it can be adjusted in the 3D print data.” 

The organization has also reiterated advice about masks, “we strongly advise against printing of respirator at your home printers”.

Owners of the 1,000 plus HP 3D printers that are installed worldwide can contact the organization to assist in printing. CIIRC estimates that one HP 3D printer can produce between 50-70 mask daily.

With this in mind, the design will be adapted for injection molding to allow higher volumes. A detailed Q&A about 3D printing face masks and contact details for the project is available here.

The CIIRC 3D printed respirator. Photo via CIIRC.
The CIIRC 3D printed respirator. Photo via CIIRC.
3D printed respirators at CIIRC. Photo via CIIRC.
3D printed respirators at CIIRC. Photo via CIIRC.

Formlabs Working to Provide 3D Printed COVID-19 Test Swabs to Hospitals

Formlabs, a Boston-based 3D printing company, is working to supply hospitals with 3D printed COVID-19 test swabs, the company shared on Twitter last night. Formlabs is mobilizing its community of users to deploy nearly 1,000 printers to quickly mass-produce these swabs as well as other important personal protective equipment (PPE). A single print can produce 300 test swabs at a time enabling Formlabs to produce 75,000-150,000 swabs per day. This development will rapidly provide hospitals with access to large quantities of these essential COVID-19 test kit components.

The Formlabs team is working with three leading U.S. hospitals, as well as Boston-based medical professor Dr. Ramy Arnaout on the swab design. The company plans to print these swabs in-house and share the design files with its community as well as other health systems to scale the project nationwide. Formlabs has been working with the FDA for years on medical-grade software and materials and meets a wide range of regulatory, safety, and other standards  — they know what it takes to build products used in clinical settings. 

Close up of the 3D printed COVID 19 test swab. Photo via Formlabs
Close up of the 3D printed COVID 19 test swab. Photo via Formlabs
3D printed COVID 19 test swabs. Photo via Formlabs
3D printed COVID 19 test swabs. Photo via Formlabs
3D printed swabs. Photo via Formlabs
3D printed swabs. Photo via Formlabs

Design challenges to produce 3D printable files 

As the previous updates show there is an incredible amount of work underway to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Designers are also responding to the crisis by creating projects to tackle the spread of the virus with several design competitions underway. Bear in mind that the entries to these competitions are not validated and caution should be practiced – we are sharing them here under the expectation that people may be inspired to assess, iterate and improve upon them.

The CAD Crowd open-source design competition.

Carbon gives update on COVID-19 response

Carbon has provided an update on its reponse to the pandemic, the highlights are provided below:

“In collaboration with Verily, the Alphabet company behind the Project Baseline, the COVID-19 online screening website, Carbon has designed a Face Shield that can easily be produced on industrial 3D printers. 

Healthcare workers at Stanford Hospital and Kaiser Permanente have provided us with positive feedback on these Face Shields.

Carbon is also working on helping to increase the COVID-19 testing capacity by developing patient sampling swabs. 

In less than a week, Carbon has produced at least 10 different swab designs, several of which were undergoing clinical evaluation. As of 3/24, the FDA told us these swabs are a Class 1 exempt device and we didn’t need to file the Emergency Use paperwork. With this progress Carbon is moving forward to produce swabs working with partners for the first phase of production.

Swabs will be printed at high volumes using the Keystone KeySplint Soft™ material, then shipped to a Carbon CPN partner for inspection, disinfection, and individual packaging.

We are also in active discussions with our partner adidas and their partners at the Mayo Clinic and ASU to determine ways to leverage their production capacity to provide as much assistance as possible.”

Those wishing to join Carbon’s efforts can contact the company here.

Farsoon shares design files for face mask adjuster and safety googles

Farsoon has made design files available for several 3D printable pieces of PPE equipment.

CRP Technology manufactures emergency valves for assisted ventilation

Italy’s CRP Technology has manufactured functional prototypes of emergency valves for reanimation devices and related components for emergency respiratory mask for assisted ventilation.

CRP Technology’s Rapid Prototyping Department used HSS (High Speed Sintering) and the Windform® P1 isotropic material.

“Following the intensification of the emergency due to the lack of fundamental devices for the care of patients affected by Covid-19 – Engineer Franco Cevolini, Vice President and Technical Director CRP Technology, comments – we want to give a concrete sign of our support: we 3D printed emergency valves for ventilation and several “Charlotte valves”.

“Charlotte valves” are link-components for emergency ventilator mask, realized by Isinnova on Dr. Renato Favero idea and project, adjusting a snorkeling mask already available on the market (Easybreath mask by Decathlon).”

“Isinnova has decided – Cevolini adds – to urgently patent the link valve (Charlotte Valve), to prevent any speculation on the price of the component. They clarify that the patent will remain free to use, because it is in their intention that all hospitals in need could use it if necessary.”

It should be noted that neither the mask nor the link is certified and their use is subject to a situation of mandatory need. Usage by the patient is subject to the acceptance of the use of an uncertified biomedical device, by providing a signed declaration.

3D printed Charlotte valve. Photo via CRP Technology.
3D printed link Charlotte valve. Photo via CRP Technology.
The 3D printed valves. Photo via CRP Technology.
3D printed valves. Photo via CRP Technology.

Caruflan Group, SYS Systems ready to “keep wheels of UK manufacturing turning”

Based in Derbyshire, UK the Carfulan Group includes world-class metrology companies and Stratasys platinum partner SYS Systems. The group’s companies are well known in the UK engineering world. With staff-shortages and disruption to the supply chain caused by the current pandemic, the Carfulan Group is offering its expertise and technology to battle Coronavirus. 

Carfulan Group Managing Director Chris Fulton said. “These are unprecedented times and we’re all facing up to the reality that life is going to be very different in the months ahead.

“However, we know from our experience of working with our 700-plus customers that manufacturing will rise to the challenge by applying the innovation for which the sector is renowned. It’s important that everyone does their bit and we hope that we can do ours by sharing the expertise of our highly qualified engineers through subcontracting services, ensuring that those faced with fulfilling orders and satisfying customer demand stand the best chance of doing so.”

MTA provides advice to manufacturers

The UK’s Manufacturing Technology Association (MTA) has served and supported UK manufacturing for more than one hundred years. The MTA is now helping companies interpret government guidance and providing relevant updates on how COVID-19 relates to them. MTA advice is available here.  

America Makes joins with FDA to coordinate additive manufacturing response to Coronavirus

America Makes, the US national AM accelerator and a driving force in bringing together the industry, will be deploying its extensive contacts, knowledge and organizational experience to aid during the pandemic. 

Working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an existing member, America Makes is leading an effort to ensure the specific needs of healthcare providers are matched with the capacity of the additive manufacturing industry. 

A statement reads, “As the Department of Defense Manufacturing Innovation Institute for additive manufacturing, America Makes’ mission is to drive collaboration in our industry to meet the needs of the US government and manufacturing base. This mission couldn’t be more clear today with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and pending supply shortages throughout the US. We believe this repository will play a critical role in meeting the needs of front line health care workers.”

Manufacturing companies and health care community members can use this online form to aid mobilization efforts

3D Hubs launches crowdfunded manufacturing fund response to COVID-19

3D Hubs is leveraging its global network to assist in coordinating and funding the 3D printing community’s efforts to fight the pandemic.

Co-founder and CPO of 3D Hubs, Brian Garret said, “Thousands of designers and engineers around the world are stepping up to design parts for life-saving applications. We want to make sure these parts reach those in need as soon as possible. By launching this fund, and committing our global manufacturing capacity, we’re accelerating these initiatives as fast as we can.”

As the coronavirus continues to spread, medical facilities and hospitals are under an increasing amount of strain, often lacking critical medical equipment needed to effectively fight COVID-19. All over the world, initiatives have been launched to help with the rapid development and production of such equipment, but many are struggling to access the funds and manufacturing capacity required to act quickly. 

In order to increase accessibility to this crucial equipment, 3D Hubs has launched the COVID-19 Manufacturing Fund, connecting these projects with both the funds and means of production they need to rapidly produce vital equipment such as protective masks and ventilator parts.

Activity so far:

Managed over 20,000 face shield requests

Supported Project Open Air to work on ventilator splitters to increase the capacity of existing ventilators – full case study here

Partnered with Make4Covid and The University of Denver to manufacture up to 10,000 protective face shields for hospitals in Denver

Produced key components for the Prusa face shield RC2, already being used ‘in the field’ 

In less than 12 hours after launching, the fund has raised over $18,000.

3Diligent makes Shopsight ERP software available for free during the pandemic

3Diligent has developed a global network of nearly 350 manufacturers equipped with digital manufacturing equipment such as professional and industrial 3D printers, CNC machines, and other rapid manufacturing technologies like casting and injection molding.

The El Segundo based company is making its ERP software available to help ease the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) caused by the coronavirus.

“So many people want to help medical workers at this critical time.  By identifying the right PPE designs and manufacturing spec, making our Shopsight software free to ensure those designs are made the right way, and giving medical professionals a seamless way to order them, 3Diligent can hopefully help channel all this goodwill into the most positive impact,” said Cullen Hilkene, 3Diligent CEO.

Dassault Systèmes’ initiatives to address COVID-19 challenges

Dassault Systèmes’ software is used across the world by engineers, manufacturers and medical professionals. The company has now provided a response to COVID-19 and how it can help.

Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dassault Systèmes, said, “The steps we have taken in response to COVID‐19 are designed to promote safety for our employees, partners and clients with innovative solutions to help them work from anywhere with the full power of 3DEXPERIENCE collaboration. Today we launched numerous new approaches to accelerate innovations in R&D, manufacturing engineering and logistics, by fully exploiting virtual twin experiences online. Empowering our large base of 3D users to collaborate from home plays a significant role in their morale as they can continue their projects and learn together with a positive horizon.”

The Dassault Systèmes’ initiatives can be summarized as follows:

3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud fully operational for employees and customers, providing secure remote work capabilities on their project and program data.

Medidata platforms’ short‐term evolution to resolve biopharma clinical trials challenges with new therapeutics and protocols as well as streamline logistics platforms.

Customer support teams dedicated to extend our customers’ installations to work from home.

Flexible online collaboration conditions for existing clients to work remotely and new online training offering.

3DEXPERIENCE Education delivering online collaborative learning experiences to enrich our users’ certification and curricula during work slowdowns.

Continuity of services for learning institutions and curricula online.

3DEXPERIENCE Lab worldwide community accelerating a wide range of startups developing open innovations to address the COVID‐19 challenges.

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FRIDAY 27th MARCH 2020

Superfeet and Flowbuilt Manufacturing provide production capacity

Ferndale, Washington based Superfeet would normally be producing custom insoles. Together with sister company Flowbuilt Manufacturing the company uses injection molding and 3D printing to serve millions of customers. Now the enterprises will be using their expertise in rapid production to battle Coronavirus.

John Rauvola, CEO and President at Superfeet said, “The men and women who are our first line of defense when it comes to fighting COVID-19 are facing shortages of the protective gear necessary to keep them safe. We immediately looked at our machines and our team and knew we could do more to help. “We’ve already started the process of prototyping several pieces for medical equipment with our 3D printers and are ready to help create solutions for those in need.”

The company can be contacted here [email protected].

SmileDirectClub will produce up to 7,500 face shields daily

SmileDirectClub will be a familiar name to readers. The digital dentistry enterprise uses 3D printing in its process chain to provide dental aligners. The Nashville, Tennessee HQ’d teledentistry business is now bringing its expertise to and manufacturing capacity to tackle COVID-19.

The first shipment of 1,000 face shields is destined for St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Idaho and will be followed by further medical supplies. SmileDirectClub says it can produce 7,500 face shields on a daily basis and is taking orders from healthcare providers in the U.S. and Canada. 

SmileDirectClub Chief Executive Officer David Katzman said, “Medical professionals are on the frontlines of combatting this pandemic, and we are grateful for them and the work they do all while facing unimaginable challenges. As an oral care provider whose mission is to empower people by providing new and innovative ways to deliver care, we felt it was our duty to do all we could to help the medical community during this crisis. We are proud of the entire SmileDirectClub team and our partners for working tirelessly and quickly throughout the past few weeks so that we could offer help in this unprecedented time of need. We will continue to test and find new ways to produce materials that will support the medical community in doing their job safely and effectively.”

Inquiries and orders can be submitted to [email protected].

3YOURMIND establishes COVID-19 response platform

3YOURMIND  is providing a dedicated, free-of-charge Covid Response Platform, available in Europe and the US. The platform is designed for connecting 3D printing resources with hospitals and clinics in need and provide them with order management tools to connect supply with demand.

3YOURMIND is also building up a Digital Inventory of CAD models, e.g. mask designs, medical spare parts, things currently being evaluated in the medical community and front lines of response. From these parts or custom-designed parts, Users (clinics, medical institutions, other stakeholders such as supermarkets) can select and order. “On the other side, we are onboarding 3D printing services from our network (including German automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers”, said the company. 

For parts that are not yet confirmed if they can be 3D printed effectively, the Berlin-based enterprise is also offering a dedicated AM Part Identifier instance for users to submit part ideas and partners who are experts in medical certification will evaluate those parts and give feedback on medical qualification needs. Ampi-wirvsvirus.3yourmind.com.

Siemens uses network to connect healthcare providers and medical designers

The Siemens Additive Manufacturing Network is aiming to help provide, “ efficient execution of design and printing requests by doctors, hospitals and suppliers of medical equipment in response to COVID-19 pandemic.” Siemens has its designers and engineers available to respond to design requests and queries, plus will be able to connect those in need of components with available capacity. 

“Having worked on Additive Manufacturing for years, we offer AM solutions along the entire value chain and can print 3D parts quickly according to acute demands. To help fight COVID-19, we have opened our AM Network for hospitals and other health institutions needing spare medical parts to efficiently manage their design and printing requests”, said Klaus Helmrich, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO Siemens Digital Industries. 

More information about the Siemens Additive Manufacturing network is available here.

BCN3D delivers face shields to Spanish Hospitals, steps up production and coordinating efforts

Spain has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but this has not stopped Barcelona’s BCN3D rising to the challenge of fighting the virus. As previously reported BCN3D, together with CIM UPC, has been at the forefront of efforts.

The company has a print farm of 63 3D printers in use to manufacture face shields for hospitals and healthcare workers to ensure medical provisionals are able to continue to help patients.

To date BCN3D has distributed over 400 face shields to the following Spanish hospitals: 

Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Barcelona (60 face shields) 

Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol de Badalona (Can Ruti) (50 face shields)

Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Sant Boi de Llobregat (30 face shields)

Hospital Antoni Lleuger de Gimbernat de Cambrils (30 face shields) 

CAP Roquetas de Barcelona (30 face shields)

CAP Río de Janeiro de Barcelona (40 face shields) 

Hospital de Viladecans (15 face shields)

Hospital Virgen de los Lirios de Alcoy (Alicante) (50 face shields)

Hospital de Granollers (45 face shields)

CUAP Castelldefels (30 face shields)

Clínica Tomás Boix de Olot (Girona) (15 face shields) 

A further 2,000 face shields will be delivered in coming days

Arnau Valls, the coordinator of the 3D printing unit of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Barcelona, said, “In the current situation, in which adult or general hospitals are treating the highest volume of patients by COVID-19, our role is to support and collaborate with all our means in the management of the coronavirus crisis, in this case, from the innovation in 3D printing of medical material”. 

Hospitals in Spain and the wider European region can use this form to request face shields and PPE.

Individuals and enterprises wishing to aid the BCN3D effort can provide details of their capacity and location using a form on the BCN3D website.

The BCN3D 3D printed face shields. Photo via BCN3D.
The BCN3D 3D printed face shields. Photo via BCN3D.
CAP Río de Janeiro de Barcelona workers wearing 3D printed face shields. Photo via BCN3D.
CAP Río de Janeiro de Barcelona workers wearing 3D printed face shields. Photo via BCN3D.

Tinkerine Studios provides face shields, secures materials for production

Canada’s Tinkerine Studios Ltd. has provided face shields to over 50 medical professionals, municipalities, and healthcare facilities for evaluation. The Tinkerine face shield is designed to cover exposed areas of healthcare professionals and provide a comfortable and reliable fit. Tinkerine has also secured raw materials required for the mass production of face shields and commenced production on March 24, 2020.  

In order to significantly increase the production of face shields and additional medical products, Tinkerine has mobilized its Education Production Consortium (“EPC”). Tinkerine seeks to deploy up to 500+ DittoPro and DittoPro-R 3D printers to manufacture require medical products with the assistance of its education partners. As of March 25, 2020, Tinkerine has had direct contact with several education champions that are leading the ramp-up for proposed production by the EPC.  

Tinkerine has also been in contact with Greater Vancouver Regional Districts to lead a Manufacturing Production Consortium (“MPC”). The MPC will focus on the production of medical products in high demand and short supply required for the Covid-19 pandemic. Tinkerine expects to provide additional details on members of the MPC and products to focus on in the near future.

More information about joining the education consortium is available here.

Prisma Health receives emergency use FDA authorization for 3D printed ventilator device

Prisma Health is the largest not-for-profit health organization in South Carolina, serving more than 1.2 million patients annually.

The VESper is a 3D printed device that extends the use of a ventilator to allow up to four patients to be aided by a single piece of equipment. The VESper is 3D printed from material already used in medical applications. 

Prisma says, the VESper is, “designed to work with ISO standard respiratory connections; can be easily produced; allows for appropriate filtering of bacteria and viruses in the ventilator tubing; is strong and impact-resistant, and does not impact the care of other patients connected to the same machine.

The FDA has given emergency use authorization to Prisma Health, “Emergency use authorization can offer critical care patients access to a medical device that has not gone through normal FDA approval; this is used when no comparable or satisfactory alternative options are available,” explains a statement from the company.

Also involved in developing the VESper were engineers at the University of South Carolina. Prisma Health is now working with HP to increase the production of the device.

More information and a donation link are available here.

The 3D printed VESper ventilation expansion splitter. Photo via Prisma Health.
The 3D printed VESper ventilation expansion splitter. Photo via Prisma Health.

UC San Diego retrofitting manual ventilators with 3D printed components to automate pumping 

News of the ventilator shortage in Italy drove Dr. Lonnie Petersen, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego and an adjunct with UC San Diego, to begin working with medical and engineering colleagues to devise a way to quickly produce simple ventilators that could be easily built and readily used to support patients in a crisis.

“We immediately had a lot of support from staff and faculty, all working to get this project off the ground,” Petersen said. “Our community is taking this threat very seriously and acting accordingly.”

“We’re 3-D printing parts that can be attached to a motor to compress the bag of the manual ventilator,” said Ph.D. student Aditya Vasan. “This allows us to control the speed and volume of the compressions to help patients breathe.”

Using 3D printed parts and off-the-shelf components to convert an existing manual ventilator system into an automatic one. Photo via UC San Diego.
Using 3D printed parts and off-the-shelf components to convert an existing manual ventilator system into an automatic one. Photo via UC San Diego.

“As long as the correct materials are used, 3-D printing can be used to produce a wide variety of tools in the fight against COVID-19,” said Shaochen Chen, a professor of nanoengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. “It’s not good for, say, entire N-95 masks, but it can be used for producing testing swabs or even face shields for healthcare workers.”

“This is a team effort,” said Petersen. “And we can use the assistance of other engineers. We would love to hear from students, staff, and faculty with hands-on engineering experience who can help us with this project.”

Qualified volunteers should email: [email protected]

Detailed information about UC San Diego’s efforts is available here.

The 3D Printing Industry team switched to remote working earlier this month, and we will continue to bring readers updates on how the community is responding to the pandemic. Last week we created a Discord Server to connect people, share information and help coordinate some of the goodwill and urge to help. The server now has almost 1,000 members from around the world, if you would like to join please use this link.

The nominations for the 2020 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open. Who do you think should make the shortlists for this year’s show? Have your say now. 

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Featured image shows a worker carrying disinfection equipment at Budapest International Airport. Photo via Associated Press.

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