This brings to mind a favorite quote from all-around-good-guy Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers), who reminds us to ‘look for the helpers’:
We’re gathering more resources that are popping up from the global 3D printing community: how can you help? Who needs help? What organizations are doing what?
Resources At A Glance
A few major resources are emerging to collate responses.
This Google Doc allows for people with 3D printers to offer up their help; you can submit your information for inclusion in this public Google Sheet (note that all information is public, so mind your contact details). Those needing help via 3D printing can turn to the Google Sheet to find local individuals with 3D printers and the appropriate design experience to help with their needed projects.
Women in 3D Printing has been gathering direct links to initiatives emerging around the world. Various projects are linked, including designs, community-based projects, ongoing conversation forums, challenges, and more. These initiatives will continue to be updated as more are submitted; keep an eye here.
“Large groups of makers, engineers, and medical professionals are already collaborating on the web to make open source medical devices, such as ventilators, to have a fast and easy solution that can be reproduced and assembled locally worldwide. However, there is a concern in the medical community about using these devices without some assurance that these devices will operate as intended and not do harm. This special issue is dedicated to vetting the technical specifications and reproducibility of open medical hardware that can help during this global pandemic. Due to the urgency all articles will be rapidly peer-reviewed, published open access upon acceptance, and all article processing charges will be waived.
We are specifically looking for hardware that: 1) can be digitally manufactured using accessible low-cost fabrication tools like 3-D printers and 2) those that can be readily constructed from widely accessible materials and simple tools (e.g. DIY hardware store sourced).
“This type of face mask / protection is not designed to stop viruses or filter pathogens but only to limit droplets!
The precautions for droplets are designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious agents by droplets.
Obviously this mask cannot be certified and must not replace certified commercial protection masks but must be used only in extreme cases where it is not possible to find other more reliable protection systems!”
Face shields are, on the whole, more likely to be effective for 3D printers to create (using often laser-cut plastic for the shield itself) than are face masks.
A design competition has come up today as well, as the teams at ParaMatters and Nexa3D are appealing to designers’ competitive spirit to help in the current crisis. Basic accounts for ParaMatters’ powerful CogniCAD software are available to the first 500 registrants, including 50 complimentary tokens, and the top three designs will be 3D printed by Nexa3D.
3D printer manufacturers and other participants in the industry are putting their resources to work as well. Among such initiatives are:
An anonymous “safeguard instrument manufacturing enterprise in China” put its own 200-strong print farm of 200 Flashforge Guider2 systems to use in 3D printing safety goggles. The team is upping its output, from 600 to 2,000 units, to “[alleviate] the shortage of some medical supplies.” The goggles, designed and produced in-house, are lightweight and sealed from fogging up; more than 5,000 pairs of goggles have already been donated to hospitals. They plan to expand production going forward, up to 10,000 pairs made on a daily basis.
The head of the company said, “3D printed safety glasses have a shorter design cycle, and volume of production of 3D printing technology is more scalable than traditional ways.”
“We are reserving a large portion of our capacity to the production of these types of aide. We will be producing parts like these for under $10 to ensure that they are immediately scalable and accessible to the general public. Reach out if you need these types of parts.”
Slant3D has also begun to compile a list of links to 3D printable designs that could come in handy during the pandemic, including more face masks, the Materialise design, and another hook-like device to limit personal contact with door handles and other must-touch fixtures (think elevator buttons).
A Word Of Caution
3D printing for medical assistance is wonderful — but requires great caution.
Please note that simply 3D printing a face mask will not protect you from contracting or transmitting coronavirus or any other infection. Such designs may limit the spread of droplets and help to reduce spread, but these are not medical-grade devices. What you make at home is not going to be equivalent to what a certified medical company produces.
Be smart. Be reasonable in your expectations. Take heed of designers’ intentions and do not expect more than such a design might reasonably offer. There simply is no magical solution to stopping the spread of coronavirus; if there was, we would not be in this WHO-proclaimed pandemic situation right now.
On top of reasonable expectations of efficacy, please also be aware of legal concerns.
IP theft is still a concern related to reverse engineering and reproducing protected designs. While extenuating circumstances in an emergency often lead to concern for human life being more important than copyright — and frankly it is only right to prioritize the literal saving of life over profit — that does not mean there will not be repercussions.
Sarah Goehrke is the Managing Editor of Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on 3D printing journalism since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry.
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Welcome to Fabbaloo, one of the world’s oldest online news sources for 3D printing news. We’ve been in operation since 2007, where we first started examining the state of 3D printers. These devices are now relatively common among some circles in today’s world, but years ago it was extremely rare to see a 3D printer or even a 3D printed object.
At that time it was challenging to find any 3D printing news, so we decided to make our own site that covered 3D printer news, and even associated technologies like 3D scanning and 3D modeling. Today it is common to find 3D printers in schools, workshops and makerspaces, and you probably have been using 3D printed objects without even knowing they were 3D printed.
Today’s industry has finally taken up the challenge by installing thousands of industrial 3D printers, each producing previously impossible 3D printed parts that make today’s society far more efficient. The aerospace industry in particular has been producing many 3D printed parts, some even for flight critical purposes.
If you want to learn about 3D printers, then there’s no better place than Fabbaloo’s 3D printer news to see the latest happenings.
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