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The 3D Printing Industry Just Built a Stockpile in the Cloud

3D printing has been around for years, but this moment is different. The global 3D printing industry has come together to build millions of emergency medical gear for frontline workers in record time. The catch? All of its in the cloud.
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As COVID-19 continues to sweep across the world, the global pandemic has created a major shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) putting healthcare workers at risk as they work on the frontlines to treat patients and get the spread of coronavirus under control.

This has led to a mad dash for PPE, and has thrown one tiny item in particular into the spotlight: the nasopharyngeal swab

Nasopharyngeal swabs aren’t your average q-tips—they need to be long enough to reach the back of your throat, with synthetic fibers to effectively sweep for a sample to effectively test a patient for COVID-19. And doctors need millions of these swabs in order to test and contain the spread of COVID-19, but as the novel coronavirus continues to spread at an unprecedented rate, the demand for the swabs has been met with a major bottleneck in the global supply chain.

Enter: A network of 3D printing companies and clinical researchers working to design, prototype, and mass 3D print swabs and other forms of PPE…and fast.

In Part 1 of this Focal Point double feature, we speak with Gaurav Manchanda, Director, Healthcare at Formlabs and Elle Meyer, Director, Life Sciences at Carbon, to learn more about what this process looks like and how exactly this gear is being printed so rapidly. Watch to find out more.

#PPE #COVID19 #3DPrinting #healthcareworkers #science #seeker #innovation #focalpoint

Read More:
The race to 3D-print 4 million COVID-19 test swabs a week
“The country needs tens of millions of nasal swabs if it’s going to test enough people for COVID-19 to safely reopen the economy, but swabs are in short supply. A consortium of academics, medical workers, and manufacturers have joined forces to relieve the bottleneck through 3D printing.”

When these Boston doctors ran out of virus-testing swabs, they mobilized an army of 3-D printers
“In the Beth Israel consortium, Carbon, a maker of 3-D printers, has teamed up with Resolution Medical, a Minneapolis-based maker of medical devices, to produce nasopharyngeal swabs. Medical experts, including members of a Stanford Health Care task force, helped develop that swab model using material ordinarily used for dental implants.”

The case for ending the Covid-19 pandemic with mass testing
“By one estimate, America may need 35 million Covid-19 tests per day for people to return to work.”


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