The world as we know it has changed drastically in just a moment of time. The global COVID-19 pandemic is devastating economies, communities, and families, and putting healthcare workers on the front lines at the greatest risk of facing a virus we are still trying to understand.
As hospitals and healthcare systems face acute shortages of critical medical safety and testing equipment, Carbon is responding rapidly with its global network of partners to help meet this unprecedented demand. Specifically, we have been focused on designing, validating, and producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) face shields and nasopharyngeal swabs for patient testing.
Over the weekend of March 21, a team of designers, applications engineers, and specialists worked around the clock to design, develop, and validate an open-source file for protective face shields that anyone with an industrial-grade 3D printer should be able to use. Our network of Carbon partners, from dental labs to production manufacturers, jumped in to help and have been printing around the clock ever since, primarily using Carbon DPR 10 material. Here are just a few examples of the amazing work our partners are doing to make a difference by producing face shields for healthcare workers.
At Carbon’s facilities, we have also started using our EPU 41 material—the same resin used in the adidas AlphaEdge 4D midsoles—to produce face shields. Our internal production capacity has completely shifted to producing face shields using this resin. We are now producing more than 18,000 face shields each week with additional capacity to produce up to 50,000 face shields in the aggregate per week across Carbon’s global network. We’ve also optimized production by using a unique lattice design that reduces the amount of material needed per part. This enables us to print more parts with the material we have available. Support from adidas is enabling Carbon to donate face shields to healthcare workers.
Nasopharyngeal swabs are critically needed for COVID-19 testing. Testing is a vital part of identifying those inflicted with the virus in a timely manner and helping to curb the pandemic’s spread. The new Resolution Medical Lattice Swab, Crafted with CarbonTM Technology, exhibits a conformal lattice design made with Carbon’s Lattice Engine software, the same software used to produce shoes, bicycle saddles and helmets. Its hollow structure is designed for specimen collection has a flexible geometry to promote functionality and comfort for patients. The product has been evaluated by clinicians at institutions including Stanford Medicine and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), a teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
To produce the Lattice Swab, Resolution Medical works with Carbon’s network of dental labs and production partners, as well as its own internal printing team, who use Carbon M2 printers and Keystone Industries’ KeySplint Soft® Clear material. Biocompatible and autoclavable, the Lattice Swabs are printed hundreds at a time in strips that each have unique serialization to facilitate traceability. Learn more about the Resolution Medical Lattice Swab on their website.
CONTINUING OUR WORK
We’re proud of all we can achieve together with our customers and partners to help protect all of our front-line healthcare workers. As Carbon continues to explore more ways to help, we’ve also opened our Lattice Software tool and invite designers and engineers to submit potential design solutions to help fight COVID-19. Simply send your .stl or .step design file to email@example.com along with a brief description of your project and your desired characteristics. Our lattice design experts will run it through our Lattice Engine software and return a design file. Please reach out if you think this might be helpful for you and your team.
We’re all in this together. And at Carbon, we will help to keep fighting the battle.
If you represent a hospital or care group in critical need of face shields to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit https://www.carbon3d.com/covid19/ to learn more and place a request. For nasopharyngeal swabs for patient testing, please visit Resolution Medical, https://www.resolutionmedical.com/latticeswabs.