Over 150 companies and universities have heeded Stratasys’ call to join the effort produce the much needed face shields used by healthcare workers treating contagious coronavirus patients.
Among others, the list includes Boeing, General Atomics, Medtronic, Dunwoody College of Technology, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Minnesota.
Any 3D printing shop that wishes to help print at least 100 visors can fill out an online form to be invited to join the effort. I
n Europe, the company is serving as a hub to connect service bureaus with those requesting help, and has fielded offers and requests in most of the larger countries. The company has also posted the full face shield printing and assembly instructions for anyone to produce face shields on their own.
For the U.S., Stratasys is using its GrabCAD Shop work order management software to assign orders from healthcare systems to each coalition member. The face shields consist of a 3D printed visor and a clear plastic shield that covers the entire face. The aim is to produce more than 11,000 face shields this week, and 16,000 or more during the following week. The first shipments started on Wednesday, Mar. 25. Stratasys has received requests for 350,000 face shields, so further acceleration in production across coalition members is critical.
“I have never seen collaboration across our industry the way I’ve been seeing it over the last couple weeks,” said Stratasys Healthcare Segment Leader, Scott Drikakis. “The need is dire, but we are getting the kind of commitments from our coalition partners that will make a real difference and help buy time to scale up the manufacturing of shields and other essential supplies. This rapid, adaptive response is what 3D printing does exceptionally well.”
Stratasys is producing thousands of visors itself in Minnesota, California, and Texas, marshalling the resources of Stratasys, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, and MakerBot. The company is also ramping up production of 3D printing materials to support its extensive partner network. It also has made free the material licenses on many of its high-end printers used to make the visors during this time.
An initiative led by anaesthesiology residents of Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital called the CoVent-19 Challenge will launch tomorrow, 1 April. The challenge will ask engineers and designers to help develop a new rapidly deployable, minimum viable mechanical ventilator for patients with COVID-19 related ventilator-dependent lung injury.
The Challenge will be launched on the GrabCAD Challenges platform. Participants will be allowed to submit multiple designs during Round 1, and participants may choose to submit full system designs and/or modules/parts for other teams to integrate into their design.
Stratasys will support the challenge and promote it. The company will also provide prototyping services to the challenge finalists.