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Dr. Mike

How can 3D printing help with the coronavirus pandemic?

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The coronavirus pandemic we are now facing is an unmitigated disaster the likes of which have not been seen since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. I work at the hospital in Kirkland, Washington, USA that is the epicenter of the epidemic in the US. We currently have more than 100 known or suspected COVID-19 cases at our hospital, with many more to be coming. As shown in the story linked below, 3D printers are being used in Italy to address a specific problem with a shortage of valves. It's a great story. 


This raises the question: What we can we do with 3D printing to help with this coronavirus outbreak?


I am personally unsure, but the inventiveness of the Italy valves is inspiring. I have identified the following areas where there is need. There are surely others I have missed. Can 3D printing be used in any way to address these problems? I am calling on the medical 3D printing community to contribute ideas, whether related to 3D printing or not, to help with this unprecedented disaster.




Areas of need:

  • Coronavirus testing
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), respirators, gloves, gowns, etc.
  • Aids to social isolation
  • Helping with sterilization/cleaning of equipment
  • Shortages of hospital beds/space
  • Other areas?




Thank you all and be safe!


Dr. Mike

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I prefer the design from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. Prusa's face shield doesn't protect from particles from above, this one does.
As a material, forget about PLA and go for PETG, 4 perimeters. PETG gives more sterilization cycles.

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