Project DIAMOnD becomes latest to commit to 3D printing tourniquets for injured Ukrainians

Project DIAMOnD (Distributed, Independent, Agile Manufacturing On-Demand) has joined the growing number of organizations which have committed to 3D printing aid for those Ukrainians injured by Russian troops. 

3D printers from Markforged were chosen to implement Project DIAMOnD. Photo via Markforged.

With Ukraine still under siege by Russian forces, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has called for wound-bandaging tourniquets to be shipped into the country, triggering initiatives across the 3D printing industry. Now Automation Alley’s Project DIAMOnD has added to these efforts, by mobilizing every 3D printer in its network to create tourniquet clips, which it plans to ship to Makershelp for assembly. 

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3D printers have proved their value to hospitals for limb-saving surgery, Covid-19 supply chain issues, and more

A recent webinar sponsored by Formlabs underscored the value of 3D printing from a clinical perspective and offered insight on how commercial and regulatory players are thinking about this space.

The adoption of 3D printing labs by hospitals and health systems in the past few years has been a growing trend. A recent webinar sponsored by Formlabs and moderated by Gaurav Manchanda, director of medical market development at Formlabs, underscored the technology’s value from clinical, commercial and regulatory perspectives.

Northwell Health’s director of 3D Design and Innovation with the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Todd Goldstein, offered up his personal experience of the value of 3D printing tech during the pandemic from a patient and provider perspective.

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Can we 3D print a better face mask?

How 3D printing can help mitigate PPE supply shortages in future pandemics.

Some of the most indelible images of the early pandemic were of the personal protective equipment (PPE) crisis in our hospitals — photos of doctors and nurses wearing repurposed garbage bags, swim goggles, and snorkeling masks as the supply of PPE dwindled in the face of Covid-19’s assault.

Two health care workers in full PPE — body suit, face mask, and goggles — stand back to back, in front of a stylized image of face masks.

Those images underscored just how unprepared we were to deal with a fast-moving pandemic. US hospitals relied heavily on overseas suppliers, especially in China, for PPE, and there are no regulations requiring hospitals or states to keep a certain level of stock in case of a crisis. Most didn’t; US health care operates under tight financial pressures, and just-in-time sourcing is — in normal times — more cost-effective. The result was a supply crunch that hampered our response against the pandemic.

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DePuy Synthes turns to 3D printing for latest knee restoration product

Johnson & Johnson’s orthopaedics company Depuy Synthes has harnessed 3D printing technology to develop one of its new ATTUNE Knee products.

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The ATTUNE knee portfolio consists of implants and components that support knee restoration, addressing a supposed 20% of Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) patients who report difficulties completing activities like kneeling and getting in and out of a car.

DePuy’s ATTUNE Cementless Fixed Bearing Knee with AFFIXIUM 3DP Technology is the first product within this portfolio to lean on 3D printing. With 3D printing technology, DePuy has been able to create a three-dimensional lattice structure which generates a similar porosity to natural bone for advanced biological fixation and helps to enhance initial implant stability.

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3D-printed medication points to personalised medicine

A new 3D printing technique developed at UCL could lead to precise doses of personalised medicine being produced in a range of settings.

According to UCL, the method could make it easier for personalised medicine to be prepared in clinics, remote areas or even in patients’ homes. The team’s findings have been published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics.

personalised medicine

Lead author, PhD researcher Xiaoyan Xu, UCL School of Pharmacy said: “This novel system would help people who need precise dosages that differ from how a medication is typically sold, as well as people whose required dosage may change regularly.

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Additive Manufacturing as bridge production and other uses

In a presentation at Virtual Engineering Days, Joe Cretella, applications engineering manager at ProtoLabs, offered technical examples about how multijet fusion (MJF) can best be used, while Brent Ewald, solutions architect from HP, talked about developing strategies for using MJF and encouraged companies to think about how the technology can complement their more traditional manufacturing efforts.

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Cretella began by noting that the ideal applications for multijet fusion can include prototypes and end-use parts; complex geometries requiring hinging or light weighting, high strength, and temperature resistance; jigs and fixtures, brackets, clips; and component housings.

He cited a recent case study that ProtoLabs did with a university in France and its German counterparts to produce reusable face shield. Cretella said they were able to optimize the design so that it could be printed as a single component. “So it could fit a large number of those face shields into a single build,” he explained. “And that’s really going to be key on thinking about designs, especially as we’re getting into talking about the parts, we want to be able to fit a high volume.”

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Practices and pitfalls of 3D printing for COVID-19

By now, most of us in the manufacturing world are familiar with the steady stream of news describing organizations, large and small, providing medical equipment using 3D printers. Face masks, face shields, swabs, and parts for ventilators are the most common—and needed—as the frontline medical community struggles to heal patients while protecting themselves. What could be simpler than to create a design, prep the data, ship it to a printer and send the finished part to a happy user or manufacturer?

It is not as simple as it sounds.

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“There are literally hundreds of 3D printing designs to support the current COVID-19 response. Some work, others don’t. Some look great but do not work,” explained Dr. Jenny Chen, M.D., founder and CEO of 3DHEALS, a company focusing on education and industrial research in bioprinting, regenerative medicine, and healthcare applications using 3D printing. She was a moderator for a webinar panel titled “3D Printing Design for COVID-19,” presented April 22.

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How 3D printing is coming to the aid of health workers

3D printing is coming to the aid of health workers as well as the masses in providing essential items like masks and face shields.

Since its inception in the Eighties, 3D printing has found applicability in many industries. The latest is essential products. At a time when Covid-19 has brought the world to its knees, with many people struggling for essential items like masks, face shields, etc (which are in short supply), 3D printing has come to the rescue, helping create such products to aid people.

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly-sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object. The advantage of 3D printing is that it enables one to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods. It has been used in a diverse range of industries, including consumer products, dentistry, prosthetics, among others.

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New French organization Covid3D creates 24-7 3D printing factory for 40 hospitals

Since the beginning of this year, the COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the fragility of global supply chains that provide life-saving equipment including ventilators, masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to medical facilities around the world.

3D printing has long emphasized its power to decentralize global manufacturing by manufacturing locally, but the material with which it operates is still beholden to the global supply chain.

Pictured here are workers on the production line manufacturing COVID-19 testing kits in a biopharmaceutical company in Nantong, China in March. Many of the world’s critical medical supplies are manufactured by China and the United States. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the global medical supply chain has been turned upside-down, affecting the ability of many nations to procure critical medical products to treat their local outbreaks of COVID-19. (Image courtesy of FeatureChina via AP Images.)

The pro-decentralization argument in favor of additive manufacturing systems generally goes something like this: global supply chains require huge amounts of transportation. Since additive manufacturing systems 3D print products on site without expensive tooling from a 3D design file, the cost of shipping and production is reduced. CAD files are easy to reverse engineer and easy to redesign, greatly reducing time-to-market as well. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, this argument was not airtight by any means. The cost of producing certain non-essential and essential goods (including medical supplies) was still cheaper by traditional methods like injection molding and transcontinental shipping. 

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HP, 3D printing companies ramp up efforts to supply critical medical parts

IT giant HP Inc. and its network of customers have produced more than 25,000 3D-printed parts for medical gear like respirators and face shields to help with critical shortages of the medical supplies.

A picture of a hospital corridor

Those parts have been shipped to hospitals and healthcare providers in the U.S. and overseas to help deliver critical parts in the effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic as demand for face shields along with N95-masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) has skyrocketed.

In one example, HP is working in Spain with Príncipe de Asturias Hospital to use 3D printing to produce a respiratory circuit designed to improve the oxygenation of patients with COVID-19, company officials said. The number of parts produced is scaling quickly as requests continue for additional supplies in countries around the world, the company said.

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