The creators had already made breathing valves using a 3D printer to help hospitals in the past.
At a time when Italian hospitals are facing a shortage of equipment, an Italian company is transforming standard diving masks into respirators by adding a 3D printed connection.
“ ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS PRINT IN 3D THE NECESSARY CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE MASK AND THE STANDARD HOSPITAL TUBING ”
Make an emergency breathing mask by retrofitting a commercially available snorkeling mask. This innovative initiative was initiated by Renato Favero, a former head doctor at a hospital in the province of Brescia, which was hard hit by the coronavirus epidemic. Favero contacted the Italian company Isinnova to submit the concept, which quickly won over its managers: printing 3D fittings so that the diving mask could be adapted to the tubes of the machines installed in the hospitals.
Alessandro Romaioli, one of the engineers working for Isinnova, looks back on the course of events: “After receiving the doctor’s proposal, we analyzed the possibilities and concluded that Decathlon’s Easybreath mask was the most suitable. Decathlon replied that they had tens of thousands of them in stock. All we had to do was to print in 3D the necessary connections between the mask and the standard hospital tubes. »
THE ISINNOVA COMPANY IS FACING STRONG DEMAND
Once the prototype validation stage was over, the Civil Protection of the city of Brescia placed an order for 500 Decathlon masks, for which Isinnova undertakes to supply the 3D printed fittings free of charge. However, the Italian company specifies that this is a system that has been modified by craftsmen to deal with emergency situations (patients wishing to benefit from it must first sign a release), and that certified products should be used wherever possible.
Isinnova employees are currently working to meet the high demand for these “home-made” respirators, which could save many lives on the other side of the Alps. According to its founder, the company, which supplies 3D-printed valves to many hospitals across the country, has never been subjected to such high work rates and pressure before but is delighted to be able to help in these particularly dark times.
Although the situation remains dramatic in Italy, where the death toll recently passed the 6,000 mark, the country has at the same time recorded a second consecutive drop in the number of deaths and positive cases, suggesting “a light at the end of the tunnel” for the health authorities.
Source : Courrier International