AM in the time of COVID-19MedicalOpen Source

Poland-based VentilAid project 3D prints open-source ventilator

The ventilator is still in development and is advised as a "last resort device"

Engineers and designers from Poland-based Urbicum have banded together to launch the VentilAid project, an effort to design an open-source ventilator which can be reproduced using a 3D printer and an assembly of basic, easily accessible parts. The open-source ventilator is being designed to help medical professionals in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in cases where more traditional hospital resources are limited or exhausted.

“We are facing a serious threat due to COVID-19,” the VentilAid team writes on its website. “Most of the countries are suffering severe shortage of medical equipment, that cannot be produced and delivered in a short time. Ventilators are essential to keep breathing when faced with the complications of COVID-19.”

Indeed, devices like ventilators are proving to be critical in helping to treat people suffering the more severe symptoms of the novel coronavirus. The machines are designed to move air into and out of the lungs, mechanically inducing breath when the patient it unable to breathe. As the coronavirus pandemic has escalated, there have been a number of efforts to both ramp up production of traditional ventilator systems and to create open-source alternatives for medical institutions with dire need.

In the case of the VentilAid project, the team behind the device has clearly stated that its 3D printed ventilator is “a last resort device when professional equipment is missing.” Crucially, the team believes its device could play a critical role in developing nations, where medical resources are limited.

To date, the Urbicum team says it has come up with a working prototype for the ventilator, which is composed of several 3D printed components and a handful of industrial parts, including a pneumatic actuator with 10-20 cm stroke and a pneumatic limit switch or electric limit switch with check valve and 12VDC power supply. The 3D printed components are designed to be printed from PLA or ABS and TPU or Flex materials. Parts can be 3D printed in roughly 15 hours.

VentilAid project

While clinical testing has not yet been completed (this is why the team stresses that the ventilator is as of now only recommended as a last resort), early tests have shown that the system is reliable and functions well with a stream of compressed air. The team is also now working on a second generation prototype that uses a 12 V DC (car battery) / 120C AC – 230V AC (socket) and does not require compressed air nor a pneumatic actuator.

“VentilAid must be simple, very cheap and possible to produce locally from commonly available parts and 3D printed elements,” the team adds. “We encourage internet community to participate in a project that can save lives!”

You can find more information about other open-source 3D printing projects developed to help fight COVID-19 in our dedicated forum.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault moved from her home of Montreal, Canada to the Netherlands in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It was during her time in Amsterdam that she became acquainted with 3D printing technology and began writing for a local additive manufacturing news platform. Now based in France, Tess has over two and a half years experience writing, editing and publishing additive manufacturing content with a particular interest in women working within the industry. She is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM industry.

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6 Comments

  1. The sound that is placed under the video sounds like a recording out of a hospital. So the video is adjusted for commercial purposes. Current design makes allot of noise and is not a very nice solution because of the baby compressor. So are you making a video that promotes your company or are you making a video to save people from Corona?

  2. hi
    i am from india and we would like to fabricate the same to deal with the COVID. i would request your if you could plz e-mail me the stl files and the required spares along with the procedure to assemble and test the same. i would be really greatful if this could be send asap so we can prepare as many as possible in the time available.
    ragerds

  3. I am from India and working in to 3d printing industry for medical equiptments.
    Request you to kindly send me the required .stl file at ashwintghanate@hotmail.com.
    It would be helpful for us to produce ventilators for the society.

    Thanks for your noble work.
    Ashwin G

  4. Dear sir,
    I am from bangladesh. I am working on this project from my company. My company name is walton. Already we are working with govt. to develop a low cost ventilator as we are the pioneer of electronics company in bangladesh.
    We have 3D printer in our factory so if you give me the file & details we will try to develop this ventilators for our country.

    Thanks
    Sondip Biswas
    Mob:+8801678860412

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