3D Printing and Covid-19


3D Printing has come a long way in recent years. As we enter a new era with Covid-19, which disturbed supply chain creating a shortage of essential medical equipment, the 3D printing community has stepped in to help. The 3D Printing community has come together with number of initiative and help. Covid-19 has pushed 3D printing to new dimension.

 Global 3D Printing initiative 

There has been a shortage of Mask & Face shields to be used by Doctors and health care workers. NASCAR’s in US is using their 3D printers to produce face shields. Their 3D printers are running 18 Hours a day to manufacture face shield and donate to hospitals. (source Forbs). 3D printed respirators have been developed by medical experts in Spain.

Automaker legend Volkswagen is using 3D printing to produce face shield components. This aid comes under a joint transnational initiative by Airbus and the 3D printing network, “Mobility goes Additive”. This collaboration includes about 25 companies. And it will send the necessary components to Spain. ŠKODA has developed a 3D printing process to produce reusable FFP3 respirators. Tech giant HP is employing its 3D printing expertise by turning its research-and-development centers in Spain and the United States into factories to manufacture urgent personal protective equipment (P.P.E.). This includes a hands-free door opener, a clasp that can adjust masks and brackets to hold face shields. Furthermore, the Palo Alto-based firm is also planning to launch a mechanical bag valve mask (BVM) to help COVID-19 patients, along with an FFP3 face mask for the medical providers as soon as the testing and validation phase completes. ( Source : Analytics insight)

What Indian 3D Printing companies are doing? 

Divide By Zero Technologies (DBZ), a Navi Mumbai-based manufacturer of industrial 3D printers, is in overdrive to produce face shields to protect healthcare workers on the frontline from potential COVID-19 infection. Started in a small way to supply face shields to doctors and other healthcare staff in COVID-19 wards of Mumbai's Nair Hospital, has expanded to other hospitals in the city such as Sion Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, MGM Hospital, among others. Even the Indian army has placed an order for 25,000 face shields. In about three weeks DBZ has managed to manufacture 45,000 face shields ( Source- Moneycontrol).

Several universities and institutions across India, which already have 3D printers, are now using them to make face shields as well as ventilator splitters, which allow a single ventilator to be used by 2-4 patients simultaneously. 

Zareb Vardhan, a class 10 student, has transformed his study into a face shield production room and made his snooker table a face shield holder. He has handed over 100 face shields to Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastav at his office on June 22 to help policemen keep COVID-19 infection at bay. ( Source : NDTV)

3D Printed Covid-19 Items:

Hands-Free Door Opener:

Door handles are among the most germ-infested objects in houses, hospitals, factories, and elderly homes. This adapter allows for easy and more sanitary opening with an elbow.

Mask Adjuster:

3D Printed Mask adjuster

Many hospital staff are required to wear masks for long periods. This clasp is designed to improve comfort and alleviate associated ear pain.

Face Shields:

3D Printed Face shield

Face shields are one of the highest-need personal protection items. Brackets to hold the shield and comfortably fit the wearer are a critical component. 

Field Ventilator:

3D printed parts for a mechanical bag valve mask (BVM) that is designed for use as short-term emergency ventilation of COVID-19 patients. This simplified design enables a robust and less-complex device, facilitating its rapid production and assembly.

Auto dispensers:

3D printed auto dispensers for hand sanitizers/ liquid soap are used by many offices and shops.

Indian 3D-printing players has quickly responded during the ongoing crisis and filled the gap due to prolonged lockdown. The 3D printing enthusiastic has raised the bar beyond the expectations.

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