3D Printing Providing Quick Solutions to Covid-19 Crisis

Additive manufacturing technologies have an important role to play in the supply of materials in the corona crisis, with urgently needed components being produced in short lead times.

April 2020

Around the world, innovative manufacturing solutions are in great demand to meet the medical challenges created by the global coronavirus pandemic. Significant shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks and glasses as well as prohibitive production times of life-saving respirator valves have led to 3D printing technologies being deployed to slow down this global emergency.

The European Commission has called for additive manufacturing companies, Fablabs, Makerspaces, and 3D printing users across Europe to make printed components available. More than 250 companies from all industries including the automotive and sportswear sectors have answered the request to date.

All proposals are currently being reviewed and validated by the European Commission, which is being supported in Germany by the Association of German Engineers (VDI).

An increasing number of additive manufacturing plant operators and the industrial 3D printing systems manufacturer EOS have also pledged their support.

The aim is to be able to provide fast and direct support for the expected – and in other countries already concrete – demand for spare and wear parts for medical devices using 3D printing processes.

“3D Printing Fights Corona”

3D Printing Fights Corona is an initiative of MGA – Medical Mobility goes Additive e.V. and its members as well as a number of additive manufacturing actors. Pooling resources from the additive manufacturing industry in Germany and beyond, the initiative aims to build the necessary infrastructure and help the general public through the ongoing crisis. Virtual sessions and a special website provide a platform for knowledge sharing and development of urgently needed medical equipment including PPE and spare parts for ventilators.

Siemens is making its Additive Manufacturing Network (AM Network) available to all who require medical device design or print services in order to address the growing shortage of medical devices needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the Siemens initiative is to enable fast and uncomplicated 3D printing of spare parts such as fans. The AM Network connects users, designers and 3D printers.

German Institute for Standardization opens up standards

DIN, the German Institute for Standardization has, in agreement with all members of the European standards organization CEN and CENELEC, decided to make a series of European standards (ENs) for medical devices and PPE freely available in a concerted move to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision will help tackle the current shortage of PPE and other products in a number of European countries. By providing free access to the standards, companies will be able to reconvert their production lines to manufacture the urgently needed equipment. In Germany, DIN is making standards for breathing apparatus, eye and face protection equipment available free of charge to ensure that as many companies from as many industries as possible are able to participate.

For more information on additive manufacturing in Germany please contact GTAI’s 3D printing industry specialists.

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