AM in the time of COVID-19AM Industry

A 3D printed splitter allows multiple COVID-19 patients to access a single ventilator

The device is now being validated by two healthcare facilities in Spain

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As reported by 3dpbm’s Spanish-language portal this morning, group of companies and institutions led by the alliance between the Consorci de la Zona Franca (CZFB) and Leitat started yesterday the production of a 3D printed splitter that will allow multiple patients affected by the Coronavirus syndrome COIVD-19 to access a single respirator.

The idea is not entirely new and several entities have been working on it. However, the rapid deterioration of the situation in Spain makes it particularly urgent to validate and deliver these parts. The shortage of assisted ventilation equipment in hospitals and ICUs has generated the need for the development of a printed part that would enable the use of a single assisted ventilation machine for two – but can reach up to three or even four -patients, with the same ventilatory requirements. Simultaneously. The design has been developed by the Leitat R + D team for 3D printing on polyamide 12 (PA12) with HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology, whose industrial capacity allows 17 pieces to be produced for each print.

The production of these pieces started yesterday afternoon and is carried out by a group of companies that have voluntarily offered their facilities and production capacity: 3DSix, Avinent-Corus, Barel, Eurecat, Fundació CIM-UPC, Hipra, HP, Ineo, Pantur and Prometal3D.

3D Printed Splitter

At the same time, the Intensive Care Units of the Hospital de la Vall d´Hebron and the Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa are part of the working group for their effective validation, protocolization and implementation. This strategy aimed at maximizing the performance of the installed respirators can only be decided and implemented by specialists who ensure the correct operation of the equipment and its use has been accepted at these critical times due to the large number of patients requiring emergency ventilation.

The production of these devices has been prioritized due to their rapid implementation and effect on the patient. Tomorrow [today], the first production of 200 devices will be available and the objective is to reach 1,000 units next week and thus provide service to the different health centers around the country, while at the same time continuing to carry out the first field respirator project, that was presented by Leitat just yesterday-

The CZFB has set up a specific email,, to receive all proposals and designs designed to help curb the massive spread of the coronavirus and/or help protect the health of all citizens and especially professionals in the Health.

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