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3D printing technologies with polyamide and photopolymers against COVID-19
Coronavirus is a pathogen that is transmitted by contact and causes Covid-19 disease. This type of pneumonia suggests the possibility of connecting the patient to a ventilator, therefore, with the spread of the disease, the demand for mechanical ventilation equipment has increased significantly. Also in European medical facilities, not only a shortage of equipment was created to support life support, but also basic personal protective equipment for treating personnel working in the zone of increased risk of infection.
In the fight against the pandemic, more and more new industries are involved. Different sectors of the economy combine innovative developments, research results, expertise and factory facilities to withstand the spread of the virus. 3D printers, on which essential goods (Figure 4 Standalone, ProX SLS 6100) spare parts and accessories for the demanded ventilation equipment, help to fight efficiently and quickly.
Polyamide in the fight against COVID-19
Research centers of different countries have joined forces to provide medical facilities with protective masks, face shields, components for respirators, replaceable elements of medical equipment, and mechanisms for contactless door opening in the shortest possible time.
Some organizations determine the most demanded goods, other companies develop and test the created additive solutions, and others - launch mass printing of everything that is necessary for doctors "at the forefront".
Among the already tested useful developments:
- coronavirus non-contact handle for opening doors and transferring bags;
- lightweight protective face shields equipped with replaceable filter elements for 8 hours of operation;
- mask retainers to prevent skin rubbing;
- finger ring for continuous wear in public places to avoid direct contact when the buttons are pressed;
- dapter for a mask for turning into a personal protective equipment;
- an adapter for turning a full-face mask into an individual mask for connecting to a ventilator, CPAP, BIPAP or to a device for manual ventilation;
- tee for breathing circuits;
- adapters for breathing equipment;
- venturi valve for connecting the breathing circuit to an oxygen source.
Printing technology with biocompatible photopolymer and polyamide allows you to quickly produce small and large series of complex parts with a large number of small elements. The output is durable products, ready for use. The melting point of the obtained objects is very high, which allows you to quickly and safely disinfect items for individual use.
Polyamide is an elastic and durable material from which you can create moving parts, flexible mounts and prefabricated mechanisms. 3D printing is carried out according to SLS technology, when each layer is sintered with the previous one, which significantly enhances the strength and optimizes the rigidity of the finished product, making the product immune to mechanical and chemical influences. Polyamide-printed items are hard to break or ruin; items retain their performance over time.
Polyamide 3D printing technology under test
Some useful “discoveries” go through a refinement phase. For example, hand-held breathing apparatus made by means of 3D printing are intended for emergency ventilation of the lungs affected by coronavirus. Also in hospitals are waiting for masks of class FFP3, providing reliable protection for medical staff.
Google has launched a project that brings together 3D manufacturers across the globe to share their experiences in manufacturing the right things (respiratory valve or mask fitting).
On the platform, you can leave a message about the readiness to print the items necessary to counter the pandemic.
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