Another day – another company from 3D printing industry joins the struggle against COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve already decribed initiatives led by PRUSA Research, Materialise or Copper 3D – now the time has come for Ultimaker. The Dutch manufacturer of 3D printers has been developing the CURA Connect system for several years, allowing users to use their devices remotely. At the same time, it has a number of other functionalities, such as excellent knowledge about who and where uses which 3D printer? Now Ultimaker has decided to take advantage of this functionality and tries to connect the owners of its 3D printers with hospitals and medical care facilities that suffer from a lack of equipment needed to help patients, in order to 3D print them.
At the moment, Ultimaker has launched two dedicated subpages:
- an interactive world map where you can find a 3D printing hub ready to help you print the things you need
- application form with which you can report the need for specific items or join the program.
Like most large companies, the Dutch manufacturer approaches the matter rationally and responsibly. Being fully aware that prints from 3D printers do not even meet the basic security requirements – they do not have the appropriate permits and are created in conditions far from the standards set by certification companies, they emphasize that they can be realized only in the conditions of the highest necessity.
COVID-19 is affecting many lives and causing strain on medical supplies and infrastructure.
Some initiatives already use 3D printers to help relieve the scarcity of critical parts, which currently cannot be obtained in sufficient quantities from original suppliers.
Please note: this service is intended only to relieve immediate medical supply shortages under these very exceptional circumstances. 3D printed parts should be replaced by original parts as soon as possible.Source: the Ultimaker 3D Printing community
The company also points out that 3D printing of the necessary elements is one thing – designing is a much bigger challenge. In addition, this should be done in such a way as not to violate copyright or patent rights to a given solution, because, apart from legitimate intentions, it may in the long run lead to many legal problems.
It would also be good for a given project to be optimized for 3D printing – perfect examples can be the designs of PRUSA Research protective mask and door handle created by Materialise. People familiar with 3D printing will see in them a whole bunch of small solutions that make the details print quickly and perfectly, without the need for complex support structures.