As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to place a huge strain on the Irish healthcare system, Galway based companies 3D Technology Ltd. and MedScan3D have been providing innovative 3D printing solutions to a number of challenges faced by Ireland’s frontline healthcare workers.
The growth of 3D scanning and printing has been accelerating at a rapid pace in recent years, and the current health crisis has highlighted the important role that this technology can play in addressing some of the major problems currently facing healthcare systems both in Ireland and beyond.
Based in Galway Technology Centre, 3D Technology Ltd. has been successfully manufacturing and supplying urgent supplies of 3D printed connector parts for respirators, a key piece of technology in the fight against Covid-19. As the demand for respirators increases in Ireland due to the ongoing pandemic, so too does the importance of sourcing respirator parts in a timely fashion to ensure existing respirators continue to function as required.
According to 3D Technology Ltd. founder James Wall, 3D printing is contributing strongly in the fight against Covid-19. “Since the arrival of this pandemic, we have examined ways in which our technology can assist our healthcare workers who are fighting this crisis on the frontline. One area we identified is the printing of respirator connector parts for existing hospital respirators around the country, which helps ensure the limited number of respirators we have available continue to operate correctly.” To date the connector parts have been highly valued, with Beaumont Hospital amongst others commending their usability and suitability.
In addition to the respirator parts printed by 3D Technology Ltd., its sister company MedScan3D has been active in printing much needed PPE for frontline healthcare workers. In particular, the company is supplying face shields printed using engineering grade nylon, allowing healthcare organisations reuse the brims by placing them in an autoclave, with only the plastic shields required to be disposed of.
“We have been supplying our 3D printed face shields to a number of healthcare organisations and the feedback has been extremely positive”, says Jacqui O’Connor, Technical Director at MedScan3D. “Not only are we able to turn around the face shields very quickly, we have also been advised by frontline healthcare workers of their comfort and usability which is fantastic. We are the exclusive manufacturers of these 3D printed Markforged designed shields in Ireland and we are delighted with the feedback we have had.”
As countries around the globe continue to fight the Covid-19 pandemic it’s clear that 3D printing technology will continue to play a key role in assisting with more positive patient outcomes and better protection for frontline workers.