Stratasys is utilising the company’s 3D printing resources and expertise to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company is using its Stratasys, GrabCAD, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and partner network to help with the increased printing capacity across all regions, with the company’s initial focus being to provide thousands of disposable face shields to be used by workers in the medical field.
In the United States, Stratasys has set an initial goal of producing 5,000 face shields by Friday 27th March, free of charge for the recipients. The face shields comprise of a 3D-printed frame and a clear plastic shield that covers the entire face. Over time, the company believes it will have the ability to scale to an even faster rate of production.
Stratasys is also inviting any 3D printing shop that wishes to help print plastic frames, to fill out an online form and join the effort. Additionally, the company has also posted the full face shield printing and assembly instructions online on its COVID-19 response page.
Stratasys CEO Yoav Zeif commented: “We are humbled by the opportunity to help. We see additive manufacturing as an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 global epidemic.”
Zeif added: “The strengths of 3D printing – be anywhere, print virtually anything, adapt on the fly – make it a capability for helping address shortages of parts related to shields, masks, and ventilators, among other things. Our workforce and partners are prepared to work around the clock to meet the need for 3D printers, materials, including biocompatible materials, and 3D-printed parts.”
A number of large manufacturers and educational institutions with production grade 3D printers have also donated their capacity to help. These include Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Queensborough Community College in New York City, and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.
Organisations can request 3D printed products to help with the crisis, offer 3D printing capacity, or request 3D printers or material for medical- or safety-related purposes using the designated webpage Stratasys has set up.
Another way Stratasys is planning to help with the pandemic includes via an initiative led by anesthesiology residents of Massachusetts General Hospital called the CoVent-19 Challenge. This challenge will ask engineers and designers to help develop a new rapidly deployable ventilator and other innovative solutions to help with the ventilator shortage. Stratasys will support this challenge and promote it via its GrabCAD community of more than seven million professional designers, engineers, manufacturers and students.