Medical & Dental

Italy arm in arm as Lamborghini steps up to COVID-19

Lamborghini has directed its in-house 3D printing facilities to manufacture medical equipment to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy. The news comes after the Bologna-based supercar manufacturer’s home country became the center of the outbreak in Europe.

3D printed lung simulator

Lamborghini’s Research and Development Department has been using its resources to help design and manufacture lung simulators to support SIARE Engineering International Group, the leading medical respirator manufacturer in Italy. The lung simulator can be used to carry out an initial test to investigate the capabilities of SIARE’s individual ventilators. The ventilators then go on to be evaluated by certified equipment before they are shipped out to medical centers in the region. 3D printing here is a tool used to facilitate making the final product, illustrating that the technology does not always have to be used in the end result.

The design and validation of the lung simulators took just two weeks for the supercar manufacturer. Lamborghini’s in-house 3D printing laboratory was used to optimize the components via ‘design for AM’ principles and the company is now outputting 18 simulators every week. The high precision MJF technology in a HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printer is being used to produce the lung simulators for testing.

3D printed lung simulator. Photo via Lamborghini.
3D printed lung simulator. Photo via Lamborghini.

Face shields for medical personnel

As well as supporting equipment for medical ventilators, Lamborghini has also ramped up production of PPE for medical staff. Its production plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese has been partly reconverted to facilitate the 3D printing of protective face shields for the nearby Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna. Before the face shields are used in practice, they will all be subjected to validation testing by the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences.

Lamborghini is able to produce 200 protective polycarbonate face shields a day at its composites production plant and at the Research and Development facility that is being used for the lung simulators. The brackets that the polycarbonate sheets will be secured to are being 3D printed using Carbon DLS technology.

Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, explained: “During an emergency such as this one, we feel the need to make a concrete contribution. We have therefore decided to support the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, an institution with which we have had a collaborative relationship for years, through both professional consultancy in promoting programs to protect our workers’ health, and in research projects. We will win this battle together by working in union, supporting those who are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic every day.” 

Lamborghini has also been lighting up its headquarter buildings in Sant’Agata Bolognese with the colors of the Italian flag every evening to show solidarity and support as the nation tackles the crisis.

Lamborghini 3D printing face shields for medical staff. Photo via Lamborghini.
Lamborghini 3D printing face shields for medical staff. Photo via Lamborghini.

Lamborghini has previously utilized 3D printing technology for commercial purposes with its supercars. The company started out using Stratasys FDM technology to produce end-use parts for some of its non-critical components. The Italian manufacturer then signed and extended a partnership with Carbon, the company behind the DLS technology currently being used to produce face shields. Carbon’s 3D printers are being used to manufacture the central and lateral dashboard air vents for Lamborghini’s first hybrid production car, the Sián FKP 37.

Click here to find out how the 3D printing community is fighting COVID-19.

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Featured image shows Lamborghini lung simulator. Photo via Lamborghini.