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3D Makers Against COVID-19

3D Makers Against COVID-19

How 3d printers help to overcome COVID-19.

A campaign of makers to create projects of various devices that can be printed on 3d printers and which doctors may soon need if the development of the most negative scenarios is gaining momentum around the world.

Today there are already projects of 3D models of face shields, pillows for bedsores, respirators and other things.

For example, in Colorado, they developed a model for printing on 3D printers of splitters for ventilators. Doctors from Rose Medical checked the adapters and confirmed that, in case of emergency, such adapters will allow the use of one ventilator for two / four people.


Another project from Ireland is the creation of mechanical ventilation ready for 3D printing, and a group of 300 engineers is currently working on it. They promise to finish in a week, so if you are lucky, it will be possible to print mechanical ventilation on 3D printers and in an emergency of shortage of mechanical ventilation to help doctors.


And of course, the success of the guys from Italy. The most obvious example of how 3d printing technology helps doctors in their difficult work and the fight against coronovirus.


The original valve (on the left) and its 3D printed twin.








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That was the case when a Northern Italian hospital needed a replacement valve for a reanimation device and the supplier had run out with no way to get more in a short time.

One of the biggest immediate problems that coronavirus is causing is the massive number of people who require intensive care and oxygenation in order to live through the infection long enough for their antibodies to fight it. This means that the only way to save lives at this point - beyond prevention - is to have as many working reanimation machines as possible. And when they break down, maybe 3D printing can help.
After the first valves were 3D printed using a filament extrusion system, on location at the hospital, more valves were later 3D printed, using a polymer laser powder bed fusion process (photo below) and a custom polyamide-based material.









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As far understands, the model for the valve remains covered by copyright and patents. Hospitals do have a right to produce these parts in an emergency (as in this case) but, in order to legally obtain a 3D printable STL file, the hospital that requires the parts needs to present an official request and the patient usually needs to give consent (this procedure varies according to local regulations).

But what can we print themselves to help itself, friends and other people? Let’s see some more great ideas.


Door opener









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One of the biggest dangers in the current Covid-19 pandemic is that the coronavirus that causes it can live for long periods of time on metal and plastic surfaces. This means that anything you touch with your hand - including handles - can bring the virus one step close to your eyes or mouth, and overcome your natural defenses. Belgium-based pioneer in 3D printing has designed a 3D printed door opener that makes it possible to open and close doors with your arm, removing the need for direct contact with door handles. The company is offering the printable design for free and calling upon the global 3D printing community to 3D print the door opener and make it available all around the world.

The 3D printed door opener can be attached to existing door handles and features a paddle-shaped extension that allows people to open and close doors with their arm instead of their hands. For safety reasons, not all doors can remain open and by removing the need to touch door handles, the 3D printed door opener can help to reduce the spread of the virus.

The hands-free door opener can be fitted to a door handle without drilling holes or replacing the existing door handle.


Face masks and face shields


Healthcare workers responding to COVID-19 who face PPE (personal protection equipment) supply gaps while waiting for domestic face shield production to catch up with demand NEED a transparent face shield that:

- limits aerosol and splatter exposure from in front and above, while providing top ventilation
- reduces aerosol and splatter exposure on N95 and other face masks
- is re-usable for a single user (can survive multiple daily washes; transparent visor can be replaced from readily sourced materials when worn out)


- is easy to fabricate within a few days of design approval (i.e. no complex supply chains or production bottlenecks)
- is comfortable to wear and easy to don and doff (as it will be taken on and off dozens of times in a twelve-hour shift)
- provides protection to broader area of face compared to standard safety goggles or glasses








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Conclusion

Through the technology of 3D printing simple devices against virus could become available all over the world very quickly. In 2018 more than half a million 3D printers were sold globally.

3D printing is a digital manufacturing technology that makes it possible to create products quickly and in small batches. 3D printing also makes it possible to manufacture locally. As travel and transport become more difficult, the ability to manufacture locally becomes more important.
A lot of world companies and organizations, like HP, Prusa Printers, National Institutes of Health of US, place on their web-sites files of projects which can be printed by 3d printers at home.

Safe yourself and be happy!

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