1. Introduction and Scope
2. Shortage in Medical Supplies Against COVID-19
3. AM Technology Against COVID-19
3.1. An Up-To-Date Review of the AM Technology in Medical Engineering
- The design of new products with the realization of functional prototypes: the bio-compatibility of certain materials enables patient testing and the fabrication of pathological organ prototypes to facilitate preoperative planning and analysis of surgical treatments.
- The production of prostheses and implants: 3D printing offers the possibility to create even the most complex shapes of compatible polymer materials or titanium from scans or MRI scans. AM is ideal for the unit manufacture of complex parts.
- Surgery: The 3D impressions produced are used as templates to prepare for surgery, identify areas of intervention, form any titanium parts, and finally prepare cutting or drilling templates. In addition to the time saved in the operating room (and the savings for the hospital), one can count on a faster recovery of the patient.
- Medical research and education: 3D printing is also used in medical research to visualize and enable organ or concept manipulation.
- Research on direct manufacturing of tissues with complete vital tasks [12,13]: although these applications are still far from widespread clinical implementation due to a number of fundamental method and scientific problems that remain to be solved, major scientific advancement and applications have been conducted in these areas.
- surgical departments and hospitals
- medical and pharmaceutical laboratories
- teaching and education
- medical research
3.2. SWOT Analysis of AM in Medical Application
3.3. Implications of the COVID-19 on the Global AM Industry
3.4. Research Status on Materials Used for the 3D-Printed Medical Parts
3.5. Technical Considerations for the 3D-Printed Medical Devices
- The device should be washed with soap and water.
- Once washed, it should be rinsed well with clean water.
- Equipment must be disinfected to inactivate any remaining pathogens. For this, chemical disinfection must be used, not using an autoclave, since PLActive (material from which the mask is printed) does not tolerate 80 °C or more.
4. Conclusions and Final Remarks
Conflicts of Interest
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|T Cawley ||Use of 3D printing to manufacture a bone screw incorporating a porous surface to improve bony fixation|
|EH Backes ||Development of bioactive composites with biodegradable polymers using AM for medical applications|
|Eric Schwarzer ||Process development for AM of functionally graded alumina toughened zirconia components intended for medical implant application|
|Ashutosh Sharma ||Investigation of electrochemical corrosion behavior of additive manufactured Ti–6Al–4V alloy for medical implants in different electrolytes|
|Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)|
|Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)|
Better control of the construction process
Minimizes transportation cost
Light weighting parts
Cost of the AM technology printer
Low production volume
Multi products batches
Manufacturing on demand
Potential growth market
New product development
|Less research collaboration with the industrial sector|
Copyright problems/IP issues
Regional and country regulations
Dangerous weapons and security challenge
|3D Printing Companies||Number of Parts Produced|
|Consortium—Formlabs, Carbon, EnvisionTec, and Origin: nasophryngeal swabs (potential weekly capacity)||4,000,000|
|Nexa3D (3D printing manufacturer, United States): Test swabs (potential weekly production capacity)||500,000|
|Stratasys & Origin (United States): Nasopharyngeal swabs (Planned production capacity per day)||190,000|
|Nissan (car manufacturer, Japan): Face shields (potential weekly production capacity)||100,000|
|Voodoo Manufacturing (3D printing, United States): Face shields and swabs (weekly capacity for 2500 face shields and 50,000 swabs)||52,500|
|Ricoh 3D (Printing, UK): Face shields (weekly capacity)||40,000|
|3D Hubs (3D manufacturing, The Netherlands): Face shields (coordinated effort through the COVID-19 Manufacturing Fund)||20,000|
|Forecast 3D (Industrial 3D printing, United States): Face shields, stopgap masks, nasopharyngeal swabs, and other PPE products (daily part production capacity)||10,000|
|Nexa3D (3D printing manufacturer, United States): Face shields (potential weekly production capacity)||10,000|
|Prusa Research (3D printing company, Czech Republic): Face shields||10,000|
|Mobility/Medical goes Additive consortium (around 50 enterprises, Germany): Face shields||5000|
|PERA CD- N95 mask lining bracket—Farsoon Technologies (China) -Safety goggle & Mask adjuster. (Large- Safety googles- scale PPE manufacturer, China): (2000 daily)||-|
|Protolabs (3D printing company): Ventilator components||3000|
|Fast Radius (Additive manufacturing solutions, United States): Face shield kits (inital shipment, potential daily production capacity of 10,000)||1500|
|Azul3D (3D printing manufacturer): Face shields (Current daily capacity; Goal of 20,000 face shields per week)||1000|
|SmileDirectClub (Digital dentistry enterprise): Face shields (initial shipment; potential capacity of 7500 per day)||1000|
|Photocentric (3D printing company, UK): Valves for respirators (trial run; potential capacity of 40,000 per week)||-|
|Y Soft 3D (Enterprise solutions, Czech Republic): Face shields (daily production capacity)||500|
|Weerg & PressUP (Italy): Protective visors||500|
|BCN3D (3D printing manufacturer): Face shields (initial shipment with 2000 more planned to ship)||400|
|Formlabs (3D printing company, United States): Test swabs (300 in one batch; potential capacity of 75–150 k per day)||300|
|Photocentric (Photopolymer manufacturer, UK): Face shield parts (first batch of prints; potential daily capacity for 4860 parts)||200|
|Omni3D (Industrial 3D Printing, Poland): Face shields (daily capacity)||120|
|Consortium led by Leitat technology center (Zona Franca Consortium, Spain): Pieces for respirators (planned daily production)|
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