More and more companies from the 3D printing industry postpone their work on current projects and focus on finding methods to help prevent the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. HP – manufacturer of industrial production systems based on MJF technology, has presented progress to date. A quick response to the situation allowed the company to provide in a short time equipment that can be of key importance in limiting the spread of the virus.
Industrial additive technologies allow for efficient and – most importantly – fast production. In addition, 3D printers allow dispersed production, i.e. the production of details in the place where they are needed, while saving time needed to transport elements.
Here is a list of five applications for which HP uses its 3D printers, based on MJF technology.
1. FFP3 Face Masks
3D printed masks are personal protective equipment that raises a lot of controversy. Some think that they are more harmful than help – others that it is better protection than none. The position on the matter was taken by HP and made it clear that masks made of appropriate materials and in adapted conditions can do their job.
The design of 3D printed masks on HP devices was initiated by scientists from the Czech Technical University in Prague. The model has been optimized for production using HP devices – both HP Multijet Fusion 540 and 4200 and 5200. Professional devices, proposed by the team, guarantee the implementation of components with optimal properties, such as flexibility, low weight, as well as biocompatibility.
FFP3 face masks are currently at the validation and testing stage. The manufacturer hopes that they will soon be available to a wide range of users.
2. 3D Printable Face Shield
Due to the simple and relatively quick implementation, the project is created by volunteers from the 3D printing community around the world and forwarded to healthcare representatives.
HP on its website presents versions of elements for creating protective helmets. The first of them (photo on the left) is a project by Isaac Budmen and can be downloaded from his website. The material recommended for the cover on the 3D printer is High Reusability PA 12 or PA 11.
The second visor (photo on the right) is an original HP project that is still in the process of optimization. The authors emphasize that the project has been optimized for production using MJF technology and will be available for download soon.
3. Hands-Free 3D-Printed Door Opener
An inconspicuous project created by Materialise, which gained great popularity and appeared in many offices and homes. At a time, when the priority is to avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces (door handles, handrails or handles in public transport) an element that allows you to open the door without using your hands turns out to be very useful.
HP supports the Materialise project and makes it available for download on its website. You can also make it on a home 3D printer in FDM technology – the printing time is about four hours. Below is an article in which we present project details and technical information on the 3D printing process.
4. Field respirator
HP participates in the project to create the first 3D printed respirator that meets the necessary medical safety standards. The ventilator is equipped with 3D printed parts on HP devices. The components have been maximally simplified to develop a durable, useful and less complex medical device, which will speed up and facilitate both production and assembly.
The possibility of using 3D printed elements in a device that faces stringent security requirements demonstrates the quality of elements made in MJF technology. What’s more, the solution also allows scaling production, which gives the user the ability to produce from 50 to 100 sets of pieces per day.
5. Mask Adjuster
A small part that can change a lot. The element was designed for people working in hospitals and laboratories, who now have to wear them for hours. The replacement clasp of the mask improves the comfort of wearing it, allowing, among others to avoid ear pain resulting from prolonged pressure of the elastics on the back of the auricles.
The element was developed in cooperation with specialists. He was tested by doctors and nurses in their natural work environment. For best results, HP recommends using Reusability PA 11. HP also provides a downloadable model.
Enrique Lores, president and CEO of HP Inc., says that, the company’s engineers are in constant contact with representatives of hospitals, research centers and business partners and are constantly working on the development and validation of proposed solutions to fight the virus. To date, more than 1,000 elements have been created using MJF technology and forwarded to healthcare representatives.. Such quick action is possible thanks to a global network of partners who strive to make printed elements available in various regions of the world.