March 18, 2020
MatterHackers has created a hub that intends to connect those who need medical aid (Hospitals and Government Agencies) and those who can create it using Digital Manufacturing, for which MatterHackers has a broad base of customers to engage with.
In these unprecedented times, people search for ways to make a helpful impact.
I find myself inspired to assist. I have a background in Medical Device R&D Engineering and an abundance of 3D printing knowledge from past experiences (about 17 years in additive manufacturing) and at my company, MatterHackers.
Moreover, we (MatterHackers) stand on the shoulders of the powerful 3D printing community—hundreds of thousands of 3D printers waiting idly to become a part of the solution. During times where shortages of vital items like medical supplies are on the rise and shipping overseas and air is currently limited, in-house solutions are crucial now, more than ever.
Many individuals have taken steps to rise above our current challenges with thoughtful designs and approaches. Ranging from fully 3D printed ventilators that ease the tension of a reduced industrial supply chain to door handle attachments that vitally reduce the need to touch the handle, in-house additive manufacturing helps intermittently fill these unforeseen problematic gaps.
The 3D printing community is a powerful and hard-working one. Given an issue, many designers, engineers, and hobbyists can successfully get themself out of a bind. Be it a broken light switch at home or an assistive device customized and adapted for individuals, there is no problem too small or big for this community to resolve with their own unique innovative ideas. Now is the time where a helpful impact can start right from the home as there are more individuals who own a reliable 3D printer and have access to powerful free/affordable CAD software to generate their ideas.
Interested in offering your valuable additive manufacturing skills to those in need? View the links below for inspirational responses and solutions to the hardships people all around the world are facing due to current events. We will continue to update this page as we find more helpful links for projects and updates that can help combat any new obstacles that may arise. As we all continue practicing safe hygiene, self-isolation, and social distancing for the next couple of weeks, please remember we can still make helpful impacts right at home.
If you have any resources you believe would be helpful to the community, leave them in the comments below and we will make updates within the article.
These are the words the FDA (here in the US, anywho) uses to ensure a medical device or aid is ready for market - there is a TON of testing that happens, exhaustive documentation and months/years of review before approval. I can't emphasize how important this is.
We should try to work with medical professionals, engineers, and the medical device companies themselves (worth calling them out to assist) to see how we can overcome supply chain availability issues to save lives ensuring never to never cut corners. The companies that make the equipment and devices have Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) for every device and piece of equipment - those should be used when considering any 3D printed art for an application.
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