All over Germany, 3D printers are running at full speed to produce urgently needed protective equipment. The rule that applies to all of us - keep your distance and avoid contact - cannot be implemented equally in all professional groups. For example, doctors, nurses and even supermarket cashiers are in contact with different people every day. In some institutions there is a lack of adequate protective equipment. The Germany-wide movement Maker vs. Virus starts exactly at this point and connects people and organizations who need protective equipment with so-called makers who can produce it.
The IAI and the PIA group are also involved in the “Maker vs. Virus” initiative to meet the demand for protective equipment in the surrounding regions. The PIA team, headed by Dr. Steffen G. Scholz, has reopened the FDM 3D printing lab with a total number of 15 printers to actively support the production of urgently needed protective visors, the so-called faceshields, in the fight against Covid-19. So far, a total number of around 650 headbands (status 30.04.2020 more than 1000) made of the two different materials PLA and PETG have been printed for the protective visors. The main customers for the printed components are the FabLab in Bruchsal and the Hub in Ulm, with deliveries already made to the University of Münster. The team responded in particular to the call from the Karlsruhe hub to jointly produce about 2000 to 3000 protection visors for a refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece. In addition to frames for protective visors, the group also produces other 3D-printable protective equipment, such as hygienic door openers and ear protectors to support the wearing of protective masks.
The 3D printing project was initiated in close cooperation with the company NewTec GmbH in Ulm and its managing director Harald Molle. From the very beginning, this cooperation has enabled an optimal, fast and target-oriented alignment of the printing activities in Karlsruhe and Ulm. The activities have already been announced in a press release in the Ulm-News about the Ulm hub and NewTec GmbH as well as in a press release by KIT.
Parallel to the activities in the 3D printing laboratory, the PIA group supports an action on Crowd Innovation Challenges within the Interreg project SYNERGY. Through the Vouchers for developed Solutions of the Research Projects action, which will be carried out on the SYNERGY Crowd Innovation Platform, all actors involved in the Covid-19 emergency will receive direct support from the research and industrial community. The best challenges and solutions will be rewarded with a voucher for services worth up to EUR 3,000. We are now looking for participants! More information about the action: Pilot Action Vouchers for developed Solutions of the Research Project.
We would like to thank all team members for their commitment and active support in the (future) support actions in the fight against Covid-19.