Wednesday, March 29

This is how the global 3D printing community is helping Ukraine


3D printing has thousands of uses. Some see a way to create homemade weapons, but others see the possibility of creating medical equipment, functional organs and life-saving items. Today we are talking about an altruistic initiative that is saving lives.

In early March, the 3D printer user community began to learn that tourniquets were in short supply in Ukraine, and without them, many Ukrainian soldiers could bleed to death. But what is a 3D printer?

Over the next two months a large number of volunteers from the community designed and perfected eight versions of a turnstile -pieces of cloth connected by plastic clips and buckles- until they made one durable enough for the needs of war.

It was easy for a soldier to strap on and could be printed at consistently high quality. Now, they have uploaded their best design to the Internet. And about 120 people and companies around the world with 3D printers have accessed it.

Together they have manufactured some 5,000 reusable tourniquets that will go to Ukrainewhere they will be sewn and sent to the battlefield, explains the person in charge of the initiative.

But the invasion has presented the 3D printing community with an unparalleled challenge.which highlights the impact of technology in meeting scarcity in real time and highlights the dangers of having to rely on ad hoc produced goods.

Early in the war, those responsible for the initiative realized that many with printers wanted to help, but they created designs that resulted in poor quality products.

Yoda 3D

They create a resin for 3D printers up to 30 times faster than today’s printers

Seeing this, a group of volunteers worked for weeks to redesign their tourniquet in a way that would meet the highest medical standards. The movement’s spokesman filmed the device being run over by a fire truck to demonstrate its durability.

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Volunteers from laboratories in Poland subjected the 3D-printed turnstile to tensile tests to show that it could withstand more than 70 kilos of tensile pressure.. Ultrasound tests were performed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to show that the tourniquet could completely stop blood flow.

3D printers solve many problems. Some of them unthinkable. Surprise yourself with the rarest uses that can be given to this device.

Nearly four months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, critical shortages of medical supplies and weapons accessories remain. But help has come from an unlikely source: Those with 3D printers. And not only in tourniquet format.

Using digital files, people are designing supplies such as bandages, tourniquets, splints and accessories for AK-47 weapons. Using computer-aided design programs, special printers create three-dimensional objects from plastics or biomaterials.

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