With the global COVID-19 pandemic upending industries around the world, a growing number of manufacturers, product designers and 3D scanning/3D printing service providers are stepping up to the plate to play their part in fighting the virus and saving lives—all with the help of 3D measurement technologies. In fact, 3D scanning, and additive manufacturing approaches are helping to accelerate product development, prototyping, quality control and reverse engineering in order to scale up production of protective equipment.
One area that is particularly leveraging the power and potential of 3D measurement technologies is the medical equipment sector. Many companies are ramping up the development and production of life-saving masks, mask filters, face shields, respirators, etc.
Several of Creaform’s partner and industry leaders are leading the way for this ever-growing movement and race against time. We are proud to help them out with their fight against COVID-19. Let’s take a closer look at some of their initiatives!
First, Geopoints, a 3D scanning service provider located in the Netherlands, is working with a major client to help produce protective gear for healthcare workers treating patients with COVID-19. The Geopoints team is using the HandySCAN 3D scanner to more quickly develop the moulds for the protective gear, thereby mitigating the traditionally long tooling process.
Another compelling example: AsorCAD, one of Creaform’s distributors. This 3D solution and service provider situated in hard-hit Spain, joined the non-profit platform 3DCovid19.org to carry out 3D scanning and reverse engineering of ventilator parts as part of an initiative to put ventilators that were deemed obsolete, due to a lack of connectors, back in service. In fact, AsorCAD is the only company in Spain that is involved in the end-to-end 3D scanning and reverse engineering of these parts. They are also working on projects to scan masks as well as filtration equipment. Many other Spanish companies that specialize in 3D scanning and 3D printing have also gotten on board with the platform to develop other protective gear.
Stratasys, a major 3D printer that has offices around the world, responded to the COVID-19 crisis through several key initiatives, including scaling up the 3D printing of re-usable and disposable protective face shields for both healthcare providers and law enforcement. Stratasys is also working with the Massachusetts General Hospital to have its 3D printers get to work on creating as many face masks as possible. Finally, the company is also taking part in the CoVent-19 Challenge, an open innovation effort to design a rapidly deployable mechanical ventilator.
These are just some of the initial—and creative!—efforts Creaform’s partners and the 3D scanning/3D printing industry have made in the fight against COVID-19. We would like to thank them for their contribution in making the world safer again.
The situation is changing rapidly and an increasing number of companies are ingeniously trying to support the cause. For example, did you know that even non-destructive evaluation (NDE) service providers, which normally carry out pipeline integrity inspections for the oil and gas industry but have seen much of their work halted, are using 3D scanners to help develop much-needed medical supplies, like full masks?