Got 3D Printed PPE? We need your guidance
Category: Manufacturing Technology • Nov 6, 2020
America Makes Survey Summary
During the COVID-19 pandemic, various types of manufacturing technologies helped to create personal protective equipment. A primary source of this emerged from additive manufacturing, more commonly referred to as 3D printing. Those with 3D printing capabilities have done immeasurable good for communities, families, essential workers, and vulnerable populations by designing, printing, and distributing PPE.
Recently, America Makes and AMT teamed up with the Federal Drug Administration to begin the process of surveying the 3D manufacturers of PPE who rushed to our nation’s aid. Together, we have created a survey with the goal of answering this primary question:
How did 3D printing help consumers, responders, and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We aim to collect, record, and analyze the production values and experiences of “unlikely producers.” Such entities are manufacturers (such as automotive, aerospace, agricultural, etc.), academia and its affiliates, hospitals, maker movements, community centers, private individuals, and others.
Goals and incentives.
By collecting this data, the federal government will be able to accurately assess the 3D printing capabilities of the United States in response to critical events such as a pandemic. We will be able to determine how much we can produce, how quickly, and what roadblocks and pitfalls exist. From there, we will organize a database to match 3D producers with compatible consumers; this would speed up the distribution of 3D-printed equipment to essential and vulnerable populations, allowing 3D printers to provide products to a larger audience and, ultimately, make more sales. This will benefit unlikely producers and the communities who depend on such equipment – a win-win situation.