IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
HP mobilises 3D printing resources to provide critical COVID-19 equipment
Wed, 25th Mar 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

HP Inc has today announced its intention to mobilise their 3D printing technology, resources and production capacity to deliver critical equipment and parts in the global effort to suppress the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company says more than 1,000 3D printed parts have already been delivered to local hospitals.

HP says the company and its partners will be making the validated design files for many of the parts that do not require complex assembly freely available.

HP's 3D R-D centres in Barcelona, Spain; Corvallis, Oregon; San Diego, California; and Vancouver, Washington are collaborating with partners around the world in a coordinated effort to increase production to meet the most urgent needs.

Essential parts and equipment being delivered include face masks, face shields, mask adjusters, nasal swabs, hands-free door openers, and respirator parts.

HP says it is also coordinating with government, health, and industry agencies in countries across the world to ensure a synchronised and effective approach to distributing printed parts.

“HP and our digital manufacturing partners are working non-stop in the battle against this unprecedented virus,” says HP Inc president and chief executive officer Enrique Lores.

“We are collaborating across borders and industries to identify the parts most in need, validate the designs, and begin 3D printing them.

“Our deepest appreciation goes to our employees, partners, customers, and members of our community for their tireless efforts to support the medical professionals making a difference on the front lines.

HP's says it is currently aiming to use its global network of manufacturing partners to ensure that the 3D printed parts are available in any region around the world.

Some of the first applications being validated and produced include:

Hands-free door opener

Door handles are among the most germ-infested objects in houses, hospitals, factories, and elderly homes. This adapter allows for easy and more sanitary opening with an elbow.

Mask adjuster

Many hospital staff are required to wear masks for long periods of time. This clasp is designed to improve comfort and alleviate associated ear pain.

Face shields

Face shields are one of the highest-need personal protection items. Brackets to hold the shield and comfortably fit the wearer are a critical component.

HP says more applications are still in the testing and validation phase and are expected to begin production ‘soon', including:

Field ventilator

3D printed parts for a mechanical bag valve mask (BVM) that is designed for use as short-term emergency ventilation of COVID-19 patients. This simplified design enables a robust and less-complex device, facilitating its rapid production and assembly.

FFP3 face masks 

Effective protective gear is needed for medical providers to treat the volume of expected COVID-19 patients. HP is validating several hospital-grade face masks and expects them to be available shortly.