COVID-19 Respiratory masks are being 3D printed to help meet the current demand. 3D printing is a rising field of additive manufacturing that has opened the doors for creative minds to find creative solutions. The Chilean-based team over at Copper3D has a global initiative in place called Hack the Pandemic. They use a nano-copper additive in the production of it. This nano copper helps work as an antimicrobial agent, as well as blocking out 95% of small particles.
Who is Copper3D?
A startup company from Chile that specializes in antimicrobial nano-composites that are used to “hack” the materials and eliminate microorganisms. One of their first products was called PLACTIVE, a high quality PLA polymer. They also created a medical-grade material called NANOCLEAN, a PETG polymer with additive concentration of 1% aimed at more specific purposes in medical devices. PLACTIVE was also clinically tested in 3D printed prosthetics for U.S. war veterans and currently is tested by NASA for 3D printed applications in long term space missions. Now COVID-19 Respiratory masks are being 3D printed
What is 3D Printing?
The term additive manufacturing is currently buzzing around and it pertains to 3D printing different materials. The history of 3D printing is fairly recent, with the earliest record of it being used was in 1981. Hideo Kodoma was a Japanese inventor credited with creating a product that used ultraviolet lights to harden polymers and create solid objects. This is a stepping stone to stereolithography (SLA). From there the story leads us to today’s important use in the creation of devices like N95 respirators to help battle the outbreak of COVID-19 or the coronavirus.
Who can use 3D Printers?
Anyone with the right computer and software can purchase a 3D printer and use it for multiple applications. There are smaller consumer-aimed models and large scale manufacturing models that make airline parts. A few popular companies using 3D printers are General Electric, Boeing, Ford, Nike, and many others. While GE makes airplane fuel nozzles for Leap jet engines, Nile was making 3D printers cleats for the 2014 Super Bowl to help get exposure for this rising technology. They also released a line with 3D printed uppers.
Where Can I Get One?
The answer depends on what type you are looking for and the uses. HGR Industrial Surplus is your number one source for used machinery and currently have different makes and models available for purchase at a discounted rate. Click here to see a few of them. Quantity may vary so please reach out to sales staff for inquires. Currently there are multiple Envisiontec available if needed, so please inquire. Smaller, new consumer models can be purchased in person at places like Microcenter or online with sources like Amazon.
Be sure to check out our online options if you’re a business that uses these to help with crisis management, like respirators or parts, please reach out to HGR and see if we have anything in stock to help in this time of need. There may be some other categories you find useful on our site as well like; Chemical Processing, Plastics, Packaging, Ultrasonic Welders, or our home page for more options.