How to Use Your 3D Printer to Help Fight the Coronavirus
Coordinate your efforts with local health care providers
To address the enormous shortfall in personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic, 3D printing enthusiasts around the world have started to manufacture and donate makeshift equipment.
If you have a 3D printer, you can help too. OneZero spoke to three 3D printing experts currently making PPE for frontline health care workers. They shared instructions on how best to meet your community’s needs.
Talk to your local health care providers
All three experts who spoke with OneZero agreed that the first step for anyone who wants to help is to reach out to their county or local hospital to gauge their needs.
Isaac Budmen, who runs a custom 3D printer shop in upstate New York which has pivoted to manufacturing coronavirus supplies, suggests reaching out to the local hospital’s procurement manager or supply chain person.
“Find out if they need it, what they need, and work with them directly,” says Budmen.
It’s also important to speak to the health care professionals accepting the equipment to verify your designs. If you aren’t able to ensure that your manufacturing process is sanitary, or the materials that you’re using are right for the job, it might not be helpful.
People Around the World Are 3D-Printing Face Shields to Battle the Coronavirus
An informal network of thousands of printers is emerging to provide critical medical supplies
Find a proven design
Much of the equipment used in hospitals and clinics must meet rigorous standards to make sure it’s safe to use in high-risk situations. Ryan Lawecki, who runs a 3D print shop in Toledo, Ohio, points out that the 3D printed respirator valves that recently garnered media attention are extremely difficult to make. Those valves were manufactured using a specialized method of 3D printing inaccessible to most hobbyists unless they have invested thousands into a specialized printer. So start with simple projects, and use…