In this unusual situation we are currently in, the world’s largest concerns are deciding to suspend their work and get involved in help. This path was chosen by Škoda, which became a partner in the 3D printing project of protective masks, initiated by the Czech Technical University in Prague. Who else helps by printing 3D personal protective equipment?
One of the companies that joined the action lately is Airbus, which for many years is involved in the production of aircraft parts with use of 3D printing. At Airbus’ Spanish production facilities, some employees have been delegated from their daily duties to deal with additive production of visors for health care professionals. Those who work remotely help in optimizing the design and adjusting the parameters of 3D printing.
At Airbus production facilities in Getafe, Illescas, Albacete and Seville, 20 3D printers work 24/7 to, at least in part, meet the need for personal protective equipment.
The project has a global reach. Elements of medical equipment are also created in factories in Germany and France – personal protective equipment is handed over to Spanish medical personnel because the situation in this country is particularly serious. 3D printing of helmet components also takes place at the Airbus plant in Wichita – there, masks are distributed locally.
At the same time, Airbus specialists are considering the possibility of starting other projects that will reduce the spread of the virus. As representatives of the group say, 3D printing of protective helmets complements their existing assistance, in the form of a series of transport flights from China, carrying millions of protective masks to Europe, to supply hospitals and healthcare professionals.
Among the reputable companies that help in this particular situation with their solutions was Siemens, which opened the Additive Manufacturing Network for medical organizations, offering 3D printing services on demand. When Siemens announced the launch of its Additive Manufacturing Network platform nearly half a year ago, it advertised it as an integrated additive manufacturing solution for manufacturing companies. However, it turns out that the platform can not only contribute to increasing production efficiency, but also help in counteracting the development of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.