The year 2020 has been a turbulent one since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, the pandemic has led to massive loss of lives and jobs, disruption of economic activities, and a change in the way of living. As the world continues to fight the pandemic, governments worldwide have strict containment measures that include; working from home, the mandatory wearing of masks, and mass testing of the population.
Technology experts have also joined the fight against the pandemic to minimize the death toll and look for solutions. Innovations have been spearheaded in the medical field to assist healthcare professionals in effectively discharge their duties. 3D printing technology has been extensively used during the pandemic to conquer COVID-19.
The following are various ways 3D Printing has been helpful in the fight against the Coronavirus disease.
Development of Quarantine Facilities
3D printing has enabled a China-based company called Winsun to create isolation centers for patients diagnosed with the virus. Winsun is an established 3D Printing company that utilized construction waste to create unique quarantine rooms using robotic arm technology. The quarantine rooms eased crowding in Xianning Central Hospital, leading to seamless operations.
Nasal Swabs Innovation
The use of 3D printing has also enabled the development of nasal swabs necessary for Coronavirus testing. Several 3D printing companies have engaged themselves in the production of these swabs to meet the global demand. Through these swabs, positive people are easily identified and quarantined to curb the virus from spreading. Formlabs is one of the leading companies spearheading the massive production of these swabs to aid in mass testing.
Manufacture of Face Shields for Healthcare Professionals
With the rate of Coronavirus’ infections increasing daily and the personal protective equipment for health workers inadequate, the world faced a crisis. Luckily, the 3D printing technology facilitated the manufacture of face shields. Numerous 3D printing companies have successfully developed face shields for health practitioners in the absence of personal protective gear to help fight the pandemic. Moreover, other companies in China have competent engineers who are prototyping and using 3D printing technology to develop protective goggles.
The Making of Oxygen Valves
As the number of patients kept increasing in the first three months of 2020, the demand for ventilator machines increased. Numerous hospitals run out of ventilator valves needed to connect intensive care unit patients to the machines. An Italian-based company known as Isinnova used the 3D printing technology in these ventilator valves’ mass production. The innovation has helped in the fight against the pandemic as more patients get connected to ventilator machines. There has also been innovation in creating cost-effective ventilators to assist patients in critical conditions to access oxygen.
Contactless Door Technology
Since the disease is spread mainly through contact, 3D printing has been used to develop contactless doors, primarily for public spaces. With its 3D printing technology, Materialize Company has succeeded in developing doorknobs that do not need physical touching. Other 3D-focused companies are developing numerous products to avoid touching the face. For instance, the PULSE necklace designed by NASA technicians has significantly impacted combating the virus’s spread through facial touches.
The fight against the COVID 19 pandemic is a global affair that needs people to be innovative to get back to normal. The use of technology will accelerate the fight against this pandemic. Researchers and information technology experts should work together to develop effective strategies that will help eradicate the Coronavirus. The future of the medical industry depends on 3D printing technology. Luckily, the relevant experts have focused on ensuring that they find the ultimate solution to the global challenge.
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