Our COVID-19 response: from idea to market in 6 days - in medical grade injection molded materials
AddiFab is printing a Corona-proof world
AddiFab, a Danish 3D-printing pioneer, has teamed up with Danish emergency medicine specialist Michael Mølmer to create a PPE that protects front-line workers from exposure to airborne vira like Corona, Sars and Mers.
Jyllinge/Hillerød: Sometimes, the birth of a concept is a very straight-forward thing. Emergency medicine specialist Michael Mølmer saw a couple of Italian colleagues combine an off-the-shelf snorkling mask with a ventilator. That sparked a thought: "If the mask is air-tight enough to protect and ventilate a patient, it ought to be tight enough to also serve as a personal protection"...
"My thought was: If we can mount a bacterial removal filter on this kind of mask, we would have a very efficient piece of protective equipment," says Michael Mølmer.
The filters were pretty easy to find, and a high-performance mask was procured. But then the challenge arose: How to combine the two?
This is where AddiFab, a Danish 3D-printing pioneer, enters the stage. AddiFab is a manufacturer of printers and materials, and made showroom capacity available for prototyping.
We quickly got the first design ready for clinical evaluation. With showroom capacity alone, we can produce 100-150 units a day, and the design scales seamlessly into conventional injection molding for larger-scale manufacturing.
And increased capacity might very well be needed in those countries that suffer the hardest from the virus. That includes countries like Italy, Spain, France, US and UK, and momentarily the worlds refugee camps.
What is happening then?
Our US head-of-affairs, Carsten Jarfelt, has been speaking to local hospitals, and we are receiving statements of interest from several other markets. With Mitsubishi Chemical, we are preparing to mass-produce the adapter if the need arises.
First samples have already been sent to the UK, to support evaluation.
"We have tested with front-line healthcare heroes in Denmark, and the adapter works as intended," says Michael Mølmer.
The adapter fits masks from the Italian company Ocean Reef - a company that is already taking its own steps to help healthcare workers fight off Corona. They are already ramping up production to meet increasing demands.
But there is also another way to get masks to the frontline:
In the US alone, there is more than 1 million of the masks in private homes. If even a fraction of these masks found their way into US hospitals, we could turn them into protective equipment just by adding the adapters," says Michael Mølmer.
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