The novel coronavirus pneumonia has spread rapidly all over the world. Almost all countries and regions are facing the shortage of personal protective equipment and other medical devices including masks, protective clothing and goggles. As a powerful country in science and technology, the United States, Germany and other countries have adopted 3D printers and 3D printing technology to fill the gap in demand. This not only paves a new way for the production and manufacturing of medical materials under the epidemic situation, but also allows enterprises to see the development potential of 3D printing.
Germany: Volkswagen is one of the transformation enterprises. The company is making accessories for ventilators or other medical equipment using 3D printers that originally make plastic parts and prototype cars. As one of the largest medical equipment manufacturers in the world, more than 100 3D printers of Siemens in Europe and America have been put into production. Thyssen Krupp, Germany's largest steel company, is also using 3D printers to make medical equipment accessories.
UAE: whether doctors, police or sanitation workers, the masks on the front-line epidemic prevention personnel in the United Arab Emirates are often close to their faces. Gulf News Network of the United Arab Emirates said on the 25th that it benefited from the 3D printing mask put into production in Dubai at this stage. There are two major differences between 3D printing mask and ordinary mask: one is more suitable for ergonomics, and the other is to add replaceable surface layer and special transparent layer. At this stage, only a total of thousands of masks are produced, which are first supplied to Dubai police and medical workers who have close contact with patients.
In 2019, the country's fiscal expenditure on education alone will reach 10.1 billion dirhams (1 dirhams to 1.93 yuan). In recent years, in view of the gradual implementation of 3D printing technology in primary and secondary schools in UAE, the demand for small 3D printers is increasing. In addition, the country's top scientific research institutions with sufficient funds are also interested in 3D printing research.
Us: since March 27, seven 3D printing medical devices have been verified for clinical use. The food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first 3D printed mask program in early April. The approved project is a 3D printed mask designed and produced by a team of Veterans Health Administration (VHA), named stopcap. The mask is easy to clean and disinfect and contains a reusable filter. The FDA said on its website that some organizations have considered printing or purchasing 3D printing equipment to improve the situation when commonly used goods are difficult to obtain. Since then, FDA has cooperated closely with the government, relevant industries and medical institutions in public health emergencies.
China: data from global express, the largest B2C cross-border e-commerce platform, shows that since the outbreak, even though the overseas warehouse inventory of 3D printers has increased significantly this year, the turnover of 3D printers on the platform has doubled compared with last year. However, under the epidemic situation, these stocks have been sold out, and foreign consumers have also bought consumer grade 3D printing consumables explosively. In April, China's 3D printing equipment output increased by 344.7% year-on-year.
3D printing technology seems to suddenly see a wide range of application prospects, but this technology is still unable to get comprehensive and extensive recommendation in the medical field at this stage.