In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare system is facing a shortage of necessary PPE equipment and a potential future shortage of ventilators to treat severe cases. Incredibly, we’ve seen people from all walks of life – engineering, medicine, hobbyists – all come together to create some incredible solutions to these issues. We especially love seeing all of the solutions that involve 3D Printing for the local manufacturing of needed equipment.
We wanted to compile a list of all of the incredible new projects we’ve seen in case there is a need locally to you that you’re able to help with. We’ll continue to update this list as new projects are created. If we’ve missed something worthwhile, please let us know and we’ll get it added!
If you’re wanting to help, we recommend assessing the need in your own communities before you choose where to start. According to the doctors we’ve spoken with, the best way to figure out the biggest needs in your area would be to contact your state’s health department (list here) or to contact the head of the ICU at your local hospital.
Hands-Free Door Openers
These hands-free door openers are a great universal application to help stop the spread of the virus by reducing contact on commonly used surfaces. Multiple versions for various handles are available free from Materialise.
3D Printed Masks
The PPE shortage is already affecting the medical community and first responders. These 3D Printed masks include a filter and provide more protection than fabric alternatives. A standard mask can be cut into 6 fliters, or a filter patch can be used. Details and free print files can be found here.
Ventilator Splitting Valve
While the U.S. isn’t currently facing a shortage of ventilators, this is a potential shortage we are facing if there is a spike in severe cases of the virus. These 3D Printed circuit splitters allow for ONE ventilator to be used for FOUR patients. Again, this is not currently a need, but an incredible innovation that will be an option if needed. More details and free plans here.
Protective Face Shields
Another needed part of PPE that is running short, these face shields can be 3D Printed and provided to local hospitals as needed. See print files here.