HP Inc. and partners using its 3-D printers are printing medical parts needed in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus while also making 3-D design files for parts freely available, the company said.
Parts used in face masks and respirators, along with devices such as hands-free door openers, are among the initial applications that are being validated for production, HP said. More than 1,000 parts have been delivered to hospitals so far, according to the company.
In a news release, HP CEO Enrique Lores said that HP and its 3-D print partners "are working non-stop in the battle against this unprecedented virus."
"We are collaborating across borders and industries to identify the parts most in need, validate the designs, and begin 3D printing them," Lores said in the news release.
HP and partners are working to print and deliver medical parts as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen globally.
Initial parts that are being produced include a more-sanitary door opener that can be operated with an elbow; a mask adjuster, which allows for improved comfort in wearing a mask over long periods; and brackets to comfortably hold a face shield in place.
Additional parts are being tested and validated, and "are expected to begin production soon," HP said. Those include parts for a field ventilator--which is a mechanical bag valve mask that can be used for short-term ventilation--and FFP3 face masks.
"HP is validating several hospital-grade face masks and expects them to be available shortly," the company said in its news release.
HP--which is the maker of the Multi Jet Fusion 3-D printer for printing production-quality manufacturing parts--said that its four R&D centers for 3-D are working with partners globally “in a coordinated effort to increase production to meet the most urgent needs." HP is also coordinating with government and health agencies around supplying 3-D printed medical parts.
Additionally, HP and its partners plan to freely release the validated design files "for many of the parts that do not require complex assembly," the company said.