3D printing industry stepping up to help COVID-19 response

Due to the high demand of medical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis, critical medical gear is in short supply.

To ease the situation, the 3D printing technology from manufacturers such as HP and Stratasys is being put to work to produce face shields and other types of personal protective equipment.

3D printing can also be used to produce the much-needed ventilators for critically ill patients.

Stratasys is mobilising its resources to produce disposable face shields as quickly as possible – these will be donated to medical personnel.

The company has set a goal to produce 5,000 face shields by this Friday.

Stratasys is getting in touch with other US 3D printing shops in an attempt to convince them to join forces.

The firm is also taking part in the CoVent-19 Challenge initiative to help produce rapidly deployable ventilators.

The Boston-based company Formlabs is producing 3D-printed test swabs.

To that end, it has allocated around 1,000 3D printers, the products of which will be given to hospitals.

300 swabs can be produced in a single print, with a production estimate of between 75,000 and 150,000 swabs per day.

Ford is also stepping in to produce 3D-printed face shields, as well as other components for personal protective equipment.

The target is to produce more than 100,000 face shields on a weekly basis.

Volkswagen will be producing 3D-printed medical equipment.

Although the company is venturing into what can be described as new territory, it claims to have the capacity to get started as soon as it receives the blueprint necessary.

Last but not least, SmileDirectClub, a teeth straightener production company, is switching to producing medical supplies.

As one of the largest 3D printing manufacturers in the US, its contribution will be notable in this time of need.

The firm will produce face shields and respirator valves.