Due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, supply chains are currently partly interrupted, leading to bottlenecks in production. In various European countries, 3D printing companies have set up platforms to produce missing components through additive manufacturing processes, e.g. for ventilators, in order to support medical technology companies. Open source documents – e.g. for 3D printing of face masks - have been developed, made available online, and are serving as the basis for the production of components. Last week, the European Commission called for research clusters to register their 3D printers and participate in the production of needed material.
Following the call, DRESDEN-concept partners such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS, TU Dresden’s Chair of Industrial Design Engineering, the Centre for Translational Bone, Joint and Soft Tissue Research at TU Dresden’s Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, and the SLUB library Makerspace have exchanged their ideas and conducted first printing tests. Thanks to the open source platform '3D Printing Media Network', the institutes were able to access CAD documents required for the production steps of 3D printing. The printers, which are normally used for additive manufacturing processes of components for experiments, are on stand-by due to the home office regulations of the research institutes and could be used to assist in the production of parts needed for the medical care of corona patients. Tests have shown that each device can produce about 15 valves for ventilators per day. The DRESDEN-concept partners have more than 15 printers at their disposal, which would be ready to start work if the German Federal Government placed an order. At present, the Federal Government is discussing to loosen the licensing regulations, since most of the components are from commercial devices.
Moreover, the 3D printers of the DRESDEN-concept partners could produce face masks and mask holders that relieve the ears of the nursing staff, or face protection made of transparent foil.
In Germany, the VDI/VDE Innovation + Technology GmbH is coordinating orders and distribution, so that Dresden print products could be distributed throughout Germany.
Dresden's research institutions are invited to contact Lena Herlitzius, DRESDEN-concept advisor (email@example.com, +49 351 463 40427). Companies wishing to offer assistance are kindly asked to contact André Hofmann, CEO Biosaxony (firstname.lastname@example.org, +49 351 7965501//+49 176 17965501). In the event of supply bottlenecks or failures, the coordination provided could be vital.
Link to the open source platform: https://www.3dprintingmedia.network/covid-19-3d-printing-companies-around-the-world-are-doing-to-address-coronavirus-crisis/
Link to the open source platform for ventilators: https://opensourceventilator.ie
Link to the open source platform for printing masks: https://www.opensourcemask.com/en/
Centre for Translational Bone, Joint and Soft Tissue Research at TU Dresden’s Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus: https://tu-dresden.de/med/mf/tfo/das-institut/professur
Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS: https://www.iws.fraunhofer.de/en/business_fields/additive_manufacturing_printing.html
TU Dresden’s Chair of Industrial Design Engineering: http://www.tu-dresden.de/design
M.Sc. Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Lukas Stepien
Head of the Business Unit Printing
Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS
Tel.: +49 351 83391 3092
Public Relations & Marketing DRESDEN-concept
Tel.: +49 351 463 40428