Weapon industry firms in Italy are considered strategic assets and are therefore not subjected to the same forced closures of other less strategic national assets. So Beretta, one of the largest arms makers in the world, decided to chip in with the effort to produce needed medical parts by making its fleet of 3D Systems SLS 3D printers available to print replacement Venturi valves for noninvasive ventilation of COVID-19 patients.
So much so that they ran out of 3D Systems’ Duraform HST material and Franco Gusalli Beretta, the company’s President and CEO, actually resorted to his own LinkedIn account to ask for more AM powder while they wait for the official delivery from 3D Systems to come in.
“Beretta is also helping out with its 3D printers to produce valves for the respiratory emergency mask for the Civil Hospital of Gardone Val Trompia, those designed by Doctor Renato Favero together with Isinnova to treat patients affected by COVID-19”, Beretta wrote on Monday. “We have already produced the first batch but now we have finished the powder necessary to produce more and the new order will not arrive until Friday.”
Thankfully, Mr. Beretta was able to obtain the needed powder and the company’s 3D printing facilities will be used for more part in the coming days and weeks of this emergency. Without getting into a discussion about the usefulness of guns in general, it is nice to think of Beretta using AM powder to create rather than gun powder to destroy.