MGA, a German network of companies, institutions and research institutes that pushes 3D-printed applications for professional use in several sectors, currently organizes a series of online meetings under the title ‘3D Printing fights Corona’. Friday 27 March Session III is held from 10-11.30 hours. Non-members are welcome to take part.

We are going to share all information made available to us regarding concrete needs plus define the necessary framework conditions and requirements for materials,’ the organization states on its website.

Respiratory valves

3D printing, obviously, can be very helpful when quick design solutions are needed. In northern Italy a journalist of a local newspaper noticed turned to a FabLab, after she had noticed that a local hospital was running out of valves for respiratory machines. The company that makes them, couldn’t deliver new ones in time. The call was diverted to engineering company Isinnova, that with the help of designer and 3D print expert Michele Faini. “We were ready to print the valves in a couple of hours, and the day after we had 100 valves printed,” Faini told Fast Company. Meanwhile, Fracassi had brought a 3D printer to the hospital where the valves can be printed now.

Scuba mask adapted

Hearing this story, a doctor in another hospital, Renato Favero, turned to Isinnova with another question. He suggested to adjust a snorkeling mask already available on the market so that it can be used as an emergency ventilator mask. Decathlon, the producer of the Easybreath snorkeling mask, was immediately willing to cooperate by providing the CAD drawing of the mask, Isinnova describes on its website. The product was dismantled, studied, and the changes to be made were evaluated. A new component was then designed to guarantee the connection to the ventilator. This connector was quickly 3D printed.

After successful tests, the mask is now ready for use. Isinnova published all necessary files and instructions on its website and quickly filed a patent in order to make sure that the design won’t be hijacked and remains available for free for everyone.


Other 3D print solutions

Everywhere 3D print designs are also now popping up for protective masks. In Prague Jo Prusa, founder of a 3D printing company, placed files online for a 3D printed face shield.


Open Source Mask is a design by a group of Italian friends for a protective mouth mask that can be 3D printed:

And on Gran Canaria a member of the Precious Plastic community started to produce a mold for the production of mouth masks from recycled plastic. Precious Plastic was founded by WDCD 2018 alumnus Dave Hakkens.