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Z3D's response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

covid-19 pandemic popular image

3D Printing helping healthcare facilities

We've all seen how the COVID-19 Pandemic is changing the world as we see it, and 3D printing is helping medical teams respond to the disease by supplying disposable medical equipment. Two big advantages of 3D printing are that it is quicker than older methods of production that require time-consuming and costly retooling to turn out a modified part, and 3D printing also allows complex parts to be manufactured that might be difficult to produce using other methods.

3D Printing Face Shields

So what happens when hospitals around the world demand products in unexpected quantities? Normal manufacturing methods fail to produce enough of them in a short time. However, many 3D Printing companies and hobbyists stepped in to start designing and 3D printing face shields for the front-lines that are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients while treating them. Face shields help prevent infected droplets from landing on the face, which is proven to be the main mode of infection in this pandemic.

Here are some examples of face shields designed by various hobbyists online:

A 3D printer making headbands for face shields that will help protect frontline health care workers.
A 3D printer making headbands for face shields that will help protect frontline health care workers.

3D printed face masks

Creating face masks at home 3D printed

3D Printing mask ear relievers

The WHO announced that wearing masks can reduce the possibility of infected persons from passing the sickness through coughing or sneezing, since masks will catch bigger droplets that are usually expelled during a cough. Now that law mandates wearing masks in the UAE, everyone has to wear one whether they are in the mall, restaurant, work or public transport. However, long hours of wearing a mask can cause strain on the ears, and many hobbyists around the world rushed to create designs that could benefit everyone in this matter.

The most notable face mask ear gaurd was designed by a kid named Quinn Callander, which went viral and influenced many hobbyists around the world to design something similar.

Scout kid designs ear saver
13-year-old Boy Scout Quinn with his ingenious design

3D Printing ventilator tools

Industrial level 3D printing services also joined forces to create spare parts that normal manufacturers couldn't produce in a short time. Ventilators are required for patients with severe symptoms to aid them in breathing. Due to the pandemic, some parts were required to be modified these ventilators as well as being produced in lower costs and faster time-frames as a response to this emergency.

Here are a few examples of 3D printed ventilator tools:

3D printed ventilator addons
3D printers fabricate emergency valves for ventilators to keep coronavirus patients breathing

3D printed snorkel modification for covid 19
The 'Charlotte' valve allows the conversion of snorkelling masks to attach to hospital ventilators

Designing and 3d printing ventilator addons from home
A Y-shaped splitter which can be printed at home and then used in hospitals to extend the capacity of limited ventilators in US hospitals