Not long ago, no one foresaw hospitals suffering machine shortages, or the availability of ventilators becoming a matter of life or death. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak last year, this menacing scenario became a reality. Witnessing the pandemic, a team at Óbuda University in Budapest began developing a prototype for a modular mass ventilator system able to ventilate 50 or more coronavirus patients simultaneously. Using several appliances, hundreds of people can be ventilated at once in extreme emergency situations.
Medical technological components created with a 3D printer: cheap, quick, on site
“With 3D printers we reached the prototype phase quicker and at a lower cost than planned, printing, installing and testing within a couple of hours. The licensing process is still underway, but the tests are encouraging,” says Miklós Kozlovszky, dean of the university’s János Neumann Faculty of Informatics, who leads the development team. R&D local manufacturing, where each component is produced immediately on site, offers huge cost reductions in development of medical technological tools. The cost of producing components is cut from thousands to hundreds of euros with 3D printing. Amid the COVID pandemic, the MassVentil ventilator can protect healthcare workers from airborne viruses in hospitals, ad-hoc camps and emergency hospitals with rapidly deployable, advanced screening equipment. University experts worked on the development with the support of CraftBot.
10,000 COVID face shields with a Hungarian 3D printer: protecting Hungarian, German, British and Canadian doctors
MassVentil was not the only project to employ 3D printing technology – or additive manufacturing – to help fight against COVID-19: numerous companies worldwide introduced 3D printers in developing ventilators or manufacturing components or protective equipment. As a 3D printing specialist with offices in Hungary, the U.S., Canada and the U.K., CraftBot joined the fight in developing MassVentil. In Hungary the firm established a Rapid Local Manufacturing centre, producing face shields for use throughout Europe.