Takes New Steps A Skokie-based 3D printing company is developing its latest technology to help meet the needs of medical personnel responding to the COVID-19 pandemic personal protective equipment.
According to David Walker, the company's co-founder and chief technology officer, Azul 3-D has begun using its high-area fast printer to produce medical masks, producing 1,000 sheets a day.
Walker said: "Our technology is unmatched in the market, and we are committed to using it for the root cause." "By printing masks and possibly other key components quickly, we are ready for this fight to mitigate the impact of coronavirus . "
Azul, a technology startup developed by Northwestern University, launched HARP 3-D printing equipment last fall. According to the company, this 13-foot-high printer is equipped with a 2.5-square-foot print bed that can print half-yard records in an hour. However, as the demand for masks became so great, company officials decided to use their prototype printers to produce masks in the short term while accelerating the development of new printers. Officials said they expected to reach IDR 20,000 per week in the coming months.
To achieve the near-term goal of reaching 1,000 per day on the original printer, Azul 3-D is running the printer 24/7. Volunteer team members work every six hours to keep the production cycle going
Azul 3-D has partnered with a local manufacturing company to provide laser-cut transparent plastic shields, while another partner has sterilized and packaged the mask components and provided them to the kits used by regional hospitals.
All masks can be cleaned and reused.
Chad Mirkin, chairman of Azul 3-D's board of directors, said: "Even the 3D printer fleet cannot meet the demand for masks because the demand is so high." "But HARP is so fast and powerful that we can make meaningful adjustments to this demand. "
Walker added: "We have the opportunity to use our strong team and the technologies we develop to help our healthcare professionals face unprecedented challenges."
News reference: https://www.dailyherald.com/business/20200401/skokie-company-puts-3d-tech-into-high-gear-to-make-covid-19-masks