A leading 3D printing business has today pledged its support to the battle against COVID-19 by offering to assist in the production of vital ventilators.
Ricoh 3D, based in Telford, has contacted Make UK and the Government to confirm it is willing and able to support an increase in mass ventilator manufacturing. Ricoh 3D says it can help by using additive manufacturing to produce vital components for ventilators both quickly and cost-effectively.
It comes after a call from Health Secretary Matt Hancock for UK manufacturers to urgently work together to increase the number of machines available to the NHS. Mr Hancock said the UK currently has 5,000 ventilators but needs many more times that number. He urged UK manufacturers to get involved in any way they could.
Mark Dickin, Additive Manufacturing & Moulding Engineering Lead at Ricoh 3D, said: “New ventilators are urgently required as the coronavirus crisis intensifies. Additive manufacturing will have a vital role to play in this as the technology is capable of producing bespoke parts quickly and cheaply.
“We have registered our willingness to help in any way. Our team of experts is on standby to design and produce any required parts at a moment’s notice. These are unprecedented times, and businesses, as well as individuals, need to do everything possible to save lives.”
In Italy, a 3D printing company was able to supply a hospital with 100 respirator valves within 24 hours to connect patients to breathing machines. The valves usually cost around £9,000 to produce but were made using 3D printing for less than £1 each.
Ricoh 3D has already been involved in medical projects that have made living conditions better for thousands of people. These include the development of a lever-hinge mechanism for ankle-foot orthotics and involvement in revolutionary new technology, which sees limbs scanned and precisely replicated using 3D printing prior to an operation. Surgical instruments can also be produced using AM and are typically used for intricate operations.
Visit https://rapidfab.ricoh-europe.com/ for more information.
If you can help with the call for ventilator production, please visit https://ventilator.herokuapp.com/ to register your details.