3 ways to flatten the Coronavirus curve with 3D printing

3D printed door handle

Looking at the numbers on the SARS-CoV-2 Map of Global Cases, there are now 169.397 COVID-19 (Corona-)infections worldwide. A growing number of cases are emerging in European countries. As Angela Merkel, Germany’s prime minister, says it, 50-60% of all people will develop COVID-19. For only Germany that will be as much as 60 million people.

When planning for a disease pandemic, like COVID-19, it is critical to protect the health and welfare of our European nation. Because our healthcare system is not built for millions of people to need health care all at the same time, we need to slow down the spreading of the virus also referred to as flattening the curve. 

How can 3D-printing help flattening the curve?

3D printed valve for medical equipement

At a supply-chain breakdown, the production and moving of a product from supplier to retailer or end-user is either stopped or delayed. This is something that very recently has happened in Italy: The northern Italian hospital needed a replacement valve for a resuscitation device and the supplier had run out.

In regard to hospital equipment, we are talking about lives being at stake. COVID-19 is associated with severe disease and serious respiratory symptoms that require intensive care in approximately 5% of proven infections. When receiving respiratory support, patients get the opportunity to live through the infection long enough for their antibodies to fight the virus. This means that the only way to save lives at this point – beyond prevention – is to have as many working respiratory devices as possible. When the machine breaks or you are missing a crucial element, 3D-printed parts.

There are currently 10 patients receiving respiratory support through a respiratory device with a 3D-Printed valve. We applaud Eng. Cristian Fracassi who designed and printed the missing piece with his team. In the picture, you see the original valve (left) and its 3D printed counterpart (right).

3D printed valve

Valves for respiratory support. The original to the left, the 3D printed to the right.

3D Printed hands-free door handle prevents spread of coronavirus

Medical specialists believe that COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for an extended time. Because door handles represent a high risk of contamination, a Belgian company designed a hands-free 3D-printed door opener. The 3D-printed door opener can be attached to existing door handles and features a paddle-shaped extension that allows people to open and close doors with their arm instead of their hands. For safety reasons, not all doors can remain open and by removing the need to touch door handles, the 3D printed door opener can help to reduce the spread of the virus.

3D printed door handle

3D printed hands-free door opener prevents spread of coronavirus. Source: Materialise

Download hands-free 3D printed door opener

Supplier running out of parts

Many parts are being produced in China or are involving companies experiencing a COVID-19-related supply-chain breakdown. If you are missing parts that need replacement within a short amount of time, 3D-printing might be a solution. Beamler has an extensive network of 3D printers, with over 1200 materials and 25000 machines in as much as 40 countries. We oftentimes are able to supply within 2-3 days.

Help spread the word and slow down the virus!
We wish you and your family health and safety.

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