AM in the time of COVID-19MakersMedical AM

Mobility goes Additive issues call for help in 3D printing PPE

German organization Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V is in need of at least 5,000 face shields

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Mobility goes Additive, a broad AM network based in Germany, has issued a call for help on behalf of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V, a voluntary humanitarian organization that provides first responder services in Germany. The group is reportedly in need of protective equipment for its 23,000 members of staff and 40,000 volunteers.

Mobility goes Additive is therefore reaching out to its network and beyond to all 3D printing companies, services and maker spaces for help in producing at least 5,000 protective face shields for Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe. The face shields will be distributed to those undergoing nurse and rescue staff training to help fight COVID-19. Johanniter Unfall-Hilfe has operations in nearly 300 regional, district and local bodies across Germany and is an important part of the country’s national healthcare system.

Mobility goes Additive PPE
Use cases from MGA’s weboostam platform

The specific call for help is one part of MGA’s larger COVID-19 relief effort. In early April, the AM network launched a new platform, weboostam, which brings together several use cases for additive manufacturing, including several relating directly to the current pandemic, like face masks, shields and valves. The group is also hosting virtual meetings twice a week, giving a platform to various members of the industry as well as medical professionals. The meetings allow experts to discuss what is needed on the frontlines, how needs are being met and if AM can help. It was through one of these virtual meetings that Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe made its needs known.

Anyone with access to 3D printing resources in Germany that wishes to help produce face shields for the humanitarian organization can find all the necessary information about STL files and materials here.

In the United States, America Makes has organized a similar initiative in collaboration with the FDA, NIH and VA with the aim of connecting healthcare providers to additive manufacturing resources and reliable PPE designs. We recently spoke to Andrew Resnick from America Makes to discuss how the centralized approach is effective in getting healthcare providers the equipment they need in this time of crisis. As is apparent in both America Makes’ and MGA’s efforts, the most effective response will come when there are clear lines of communication between the medical and additive sectors. Additional resources about additive manufacturing and COVID-19 can be found on our very own AM for COVID-19 Forum.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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