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Medical protection 3D printing initiatives bring universities and companies together to fight COVID-19

The Instituto Superior Tcnico in Lisbon and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon also came together to deal with the lack of hospital supplies. The Department of Mechanical Engineering is developing protective visors for health professionals through 3D printing and invites all specialized companies to be part of the initiative. The team has already delivered visors manufactured in its laboratory at Fernando Fonseca hospital, in Amadora, advances IST.

3D printing initiatives in the fight against COVID-19 Protective visors produced by researchers at the Instituto Superior Tcnico credits: IST

In Coimbra, the Instituto Superior de Engenharia is developing glasses and visors for professionals who are treating patients diagnosed with COVID-19. ISEC will produce about 50 units per day and the first hundred will be delivered to the Centro Hospitalar Universitrio de Coimbra.

3D printing initiatives in the fight against COVID-19 Example of a visor produced by the Superior Engineering Institute of Coimbra. credits: ISEC

The material model was designed by professors and researchers at the Laboratory of Applied Biomechanics. The university advances, in a statement, that the project uses geometrical optimization to ensure that the glasses and visors are ergonomic, adapt to any face, and that they are easy to assemble and use, in addition to fully protecting the face of those who wear them .

3D printing companies and enthusiasts in the fight against COVID-19

Startups and national companies, as well as the community of 3D printing enthusiasts are mobilizing around the fight against COVID-19. Recently, Fan3D has made its printing technology available to medical institutions for whatever is needed. The company is helping Setbal Hospital to close the lack of visors for doctors' facial protection.

#SOSCOVID and CovidZero are two projects that bring together companies specializing in 3D printing, such as 3Dways, and initiatives such as the Maker Portugal Movement, in the production of visors for professionals who deal with infected patients on a daily basis. The first initiative already has a production capacity of 800 pieces of equipment per day, having already delivered 5,033 to health entities. The second has already delivered 800 more visors to hospitals, health centers and nursing homes.

From the north to the south of the country, the 8,500 volunteers from the Movement Maker Portugal, a group founded by Bruno Horta, are helping the health institutions in the regions where they live. In Madeira, for example, Cmara de Lobos Municipal Chamber recently received 100 facial protection masks manufactured by Hugo Abreu, one of the movement's members. According to the region's News Directory, the young man had already offered a lot of visors to the local Voluntary Fire Department.

In Porto, one of the regions of Portugal most heavily affected by the pandemic, the laboratory for manufacturing digital projects VivaLab is producing visors for hospitals and health centers.

In just 5 days of work, the team managed to surpass the 2000 produced equipment mark. Altogether, 600 visors and 200 glasses are made daily. The Alto Minho FabLab also joined the cause and, in partnership with the Municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, began to produce protective visors.