A group of companies and institutions led by Consorci de la Zona Franca (CZFB) and Leitat, launched yesterday the production of 3D-printed splitters, which will allow more than one patient affected by coronavirus in one single ventilator.

The shortage of assisted breathing equipment in hospitals and ICUs has led to the need for the development of a printed piece that will make that an assisted breathing equipment can support two, three or even four people simultaneously and with the same ventilatory requirements. The design was developed by Leitat’s R&D team, to be printed on polyamide 12 (PA12) with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology. Industrial capacity allows a production of 17 pieces per print, without interruption.

The production of these pieces, which began yesterday afternoon, is carried out by a group of companies that have voluntarily offered their facilities and production capacity: 3DSix, Avinent-Corus, Barel, Eurecat, CIM-UPC Foundation, Hipra, HP, Ineo, pantur and Prometal3D.

At the same time, the Intensive Care Units of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital and of Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa are part of the working group for their effective protocolization and implementation. This strategy, aimed at maximizing the performance of installed ventilators, can only be decided and implemented by specialists who ensure the proper operation of the equipment, and their use has been accepted due to the critical situation, since there is a great amount of patients who cannot be connected to these appliances.

The production of these devices has been prioritized for their rapid implementation and effect on the patient. Tomorrow, the first production of 200 devices will be available, and the goal is to reach 1,000 units next week, thus providing service to the different health centers in the country, as well as continuing with the development of the first emergency and industrially producible ventilator (LEITAT 1), prepared to support the hospitals and ICUs. The CZFB has enabled a specific email, proposals@dfactorybcn.org, to receive all proposals and designs which aim at helping stop the massive coronavirus infection and / or protecting the health of all citizens and especially of those working in the Health system.

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