Materialise with its knowledge and experience supports activities aimed at preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Their 3D model, which allows to open the door without using your hands, helps to reduce the risk of infection by minimizing the need for direct contact with the door handles. Now Belgian company has decided to help hospital by creating a tool to regulate the airflow in the ventilator.

The availability of additive technologies is increasing – so it is not surprising that many volunteers want to offer their help. However, it is important to remember about the safety of people who will use them when printing 3D or sharing their projects.

Materialise specialists also pay special attention to safety, using additive technologies to create personal protective equipment and other types of medical equipment. They cite the official statement of the European Commission (download here), which contains guidelines for the additive production of medical devices in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement reads that manufactured medical equipment components must meet safety standards and manufacturers should be in constant contact with people who have specialized knowledge on the subject.

Materialise, as a company operating in the additive industry, having at the same time appropriate certificates, authorizing it to manufacture for the needs of the medical industry, has joined a new project. Their priority was to provide high-quality 3D prints made of certified materials with shorter waiting times.

As part of the project, Materialise specialists collaborated with representatives of the hospital in Geel (Belgium), for which they designed and printed elements that allow mechanical regulation of pressure and air flow.

In the face of a shortage of respirators, distributors are used that allow ventilation of more than one person at a time. This solution, although it allows you to connect even several patients at the same time, however, in such a situation it is impossible to adjust the ventilator parameters to the needs of individual people. We are talking about parameters such as volume or lung compliance.

The 3D model created by Materialise specialists – Dirk Wenmakers and Philippe Caers, allows to adjust the pressure and flow to the needs of the patient’s health. As a result, four patients can now safely use one respirator.

The device passed the durability and strength tests. Clinical advisors involved in the project have confirmed that the model allows for precise regulation, allowing for obtaining appropriate pressure (based on the results of tests conducted for individual test lungs). They emphasize that the advantage of the model is also its performance technology, which allows for fast and scaled production. Below is a video tutorial on how to use the item.

Materialise also supports the Isinnova project by helping to optimize the STL model of the mask adapter for Decathlon diving, in accordance with medical guidelines.


Magdalena Przychodniak
Editor-in-Chief of the 3D Printing Center. A biomedical engineer following the latest reports on bioprinting and 3D printing in modern medicine.

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