How 3D Printing Industry is fighting the COVID-19 Crisis supported by In-Vision

May 2020

In an unprecedented global effort, the 3D printing industry has joined forces to tackle the corona pandemic. With a sudden shortage in medical testing and protection equipment throughout the globe, additive manufacturing has found a compelling use case to show off with its inert potential – immediate mass-market manufacturing, circumventing disrupted supply chains and manufacturing vital equipment right where it was needed: in hospitals, schools, testing facilities and other locations.

In-Vision is proud to have a small share in these activities, as it provides the key component for most industrial 3D printers around the world, a DLP-based Light Engine. It is the complex projector at the heart of a 3D printer that emits light at a certain wavelength and resolution to cure photosensitive polymers and ultimately print parts out of plastic.

3D-printed COVID-19 test swabs

The United States where confronted with a soaring demand in swabs for COVID-19 testing. The major global player to supply this equipment is located in Northern Italy, one of the epicenters of the pandemic. To address this shortage, the CEO of US-based Desktop Metal gathered their direct competitors, academia, and other partners to join forces and develop 3D-printed test swabs. Amy Feldman, editor of Forbes, has put together a brief video documentary to show the immediate and enormous impact additive manufacturing was able to have in this situation of need.

Watch the video here:

Forbes: How 3D-Printing is accelerating the Coronavirus Test Race

Here is another article on 3D-printed test swabs by Steven Mufson, Craig Timberg and Nitasha Tiku of the Washington Post: 

Washington Post: When these Boston doctors ran out of virus-testing swabs, they mobilized an army of 3-D printers

3D-printed Facial protection

Many 3D Printing companies have also started to produce face shields that you already see regularly worn by waiters, shop attendants, nurses, and other professions in frequent contacts with large groups of people.

Read here how global sports brand Adidas has joined forces with US-based 3D Printing company Carbon to produce Corona-related face shields:

Fashion Network: Adidas works with Carbon to produce 3D-printed Face Shields 

3D-printed components for ventilators

Areas that where hit hardest by the virus quickly ran out of ventilation devices for patients hospitalized in ICU. Small groups of committed scientists joined forces with 3D printer companies to design and manufacture parts for such ventilators.

Alyssa Newcomb of Fortune magazine has done some research on the matter and portraits some 3D printing companies that have made use of their technology to 3D-print ventilator components. Read it here (paid content):

Fortune Magazine: Crowdsourcing vs. coronavirus - Inside the global push to 3D-print masks and ventilator parts

See in this brief video how a Spanish team has manufactured ventilators for Corona patients made out of 3D printed parts:

BBC: A 3D-Printed Ventilator designed for Spain's Coronavirus Patients

Further applications

Apart from key components such as swabs, face shields and ventilator components, 3D printing companies around the globe have come up with innovative product ideas to support people in their daily live impacted by COVID-19.

The following article of 3DPrintingIndustry.com provides a good overview on all of these initiatives:

3D Printing Industry: 3D-Printing Community responds to COVID-19 and Coronavirus Resources 

3D Printing COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative

Most of the measures taken by additive manufacturing to tackle the global crisis source back to the World Economic Forum’s 3D Printing COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative. Read more on current projects and on how to contribute here:

World Economic Forum: 3D-Printing Rapid Response Initiative