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Coronavirus and 3D printing

Italian hospital saves Covid-19 patients lives by 3D printing valves for reanimation devices. The supply chain was broken, people and 3D printing rose to the occasion.

we are very far from understanding what the long, medium and even short terms implications of the pandemic are going to be on global supply chains.

One of the biggest immediate problems that coronavirus is causing is the massive number of people who require intensive care and oxygenation in order to live through the infection long enough for their antibodies to fight it.

This means that the only way to save lives at this point – beyond prevention – is to have as many working reanimation machines as possible. And when they break down, maybe 3D printing can help.

She explained that the hospital in Brescia (near one of the hardest-hit regions for coronavirus infections) urgently needed valves (in the photo) for an intensive care device and that the supplier could not provide them in a short time. Running out of the valves would have been dramatic and some people might have lost their lives.

As far as 3dpbm understands, the model for the valve remains covered by copyright and patents. Hospitals may have a right to produce these parts in an emergency (as in this case) but, in order to legally obtain a 3D printable STL file, the hospital that requires the parts needs to present an official request. We will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.

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