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The US Is Desperate For Ventilators and N95 Masks. Can We 3D Print Them?


The coronavirus pandemic has turned manufacturing upside down. General Motors, which normally manufactures cars, has begun work on ventilator production; so have Ford and Tesla. Fashion designer Christian Siriano, meanwhile, has pivoted from hosting Project Runway to sewing medical masks — though not the elusive N95 masks ideal for those treating patients with coronavirus.


Both ventilators and masks are in alarmingly short supply; American hospitals have about 1 percent of the N95 masks needed for a yearlong pandemic. 3D-printing companies, from HP to Markforged, have gotten involved in the manufacturing effort, too. Though the printers can’t churn out the same massive volumes of product as, say, injection molding, they can help with prototyping — and act as a stopgap measure while bigger manufacturers ramp up production. A 3D printer is a really agile and responsive tool,” Michael Papish, vice president of marketing at Markforged , told Built In. This […]

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