ProtoCAM: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping.

Combating Coronavirus with 3D Printing

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic is currently sweeping the world, and here at ProtoCAM, like in many businesses, we’re doing our part to flatten the curve of illness. While we’re implementing changes in our facility to combat the spread of this illness, the industry at large is also seeking to assist where possible. As 3D printing is still such a new and constantly changing field with a hand in just about every industry, we decided to take a look at how our industry is participating and assisting during the current global crisis.

Around the world, innovative businesses and independent 3D printers are coming together to attempt to assist with the shortages in medical equipment that are a result of overwhelmed healthcare facilities. ISINNOVA, an independent Italian research institute that supports the analysis, the design, the implementation, and the evaluation of sustainable policies, is 3D printing the desperately needed valves that connect oxygen masks to respirators used by coronavirus patients suffering from respiratory complications. The efforts of ISINNOVA are invaluable as Italy battles the effects of the spread of COVID-19.

In New York, a couple is 3D printing face shields for a county-operated coronavirus test site in Syracuse. Isaac Budmen and Stephanie Keefe, who make and sell custom 3D printers in their home, designed the shields as soon as they heard the test site would be opening, and have been continuously printing masks since and providing them to the site.

Medical supplies like masks are desperately needed

In the UK, development is underway utilizing 3D printing to create face masks to test large groups of people for Coronavirus. Originally developed for the swift diagnoses of tuberculosis, the simple mask uses 3D printed strips that can trap exhaled microbes while the mask is worn for 30 minutes. Using the mask to screen for Coronavirus could allow very large groups to be checked at once, potentially helping to curb the spread of the virus and preventing long stays in quarantine.

Elsewhere, design engineers across the world have offered to donate their 3D printing skills and equipment to help produce vital hospital supplies, including respirators, valves, masks, and other essential materials. Thousands of professionals and hobbyists alike have contributed to a crowdsourcing public document demonstrating their skill level and ability to help. The on-demand nature of 3D printing lends itself particularly well to situations like these in which traditional manufacturing and production can often be halted or delayed.

Here at ProtoCAM, our number one priority is the welfare and safety of our associates, customers, and staff. Though ProtoCAM utilizes a digital manufacturing and ordering process, and thus requires no face-to-face human contact in order to deliver our high-quality products to our customers, we’re still exercising an abundance of caution during this current epidemic. We’re working to combat the spread of COVID-19 by suspending face-to-face sales calls, customer visits, facility tours, and all corporate travel through the immediate future. We are also implementing increased health and safety measures at our facility, including additional deep-cleaning and preventative safety measures for all staff. We feel that these measures are necessary in order to preserve the well-being of all contacts, customers, and staff along our supply chain. Should any unexpected delays in production or delivery occur, we will continue, as always, to keep our customers informed.

We value our customers and know that their production requirements do not cease even during a global epidemic such as this. As such, we will continue to offer the highest quality service and parts possible, and we look forward to serving our customers well past the situation at hand. ProtoCAM has capacity in multiple technologies to ensure quick-response manufacturing and delivery for any in-demand/out-of-stock parts with minimal human interaction. We are following and adhering to the best practices and guidelines from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and our state and federal governments in offering our 3D additive manufacturing services 24/7 to help in the quick-response manufacturing of urgent-need service and production parts. We urge our customers to contact us at sales@protocam.com to assist with any supply chain issues that may arise during these unprecedented times. Any questions or concerns during this time and beyond can be directed to 610-261-9010.

To learn more about how 3D printing can be used within the medical field, check out our medical markets page and our blog on medical innovations made possible with 3D printing.