The COVID-19 pandemic has so far claimed the lives of more than 1.700.000 people worldwide and this number is exponentially increasing day by day. One of the key elements to treating patients with acute respiratory problems is the continuous ventilation. Unfortunately, many of the victims didn’t receive adequate level of care due to the lack of medical ventilators.
The life of many seriously ill people infected by the life-threatening Coronavirus could be saved worldwide by a mass respiratory system, developed by a team of Hungarian research and development engineers, doctors and mathematicians in the past months. The revolutionary development can play a particularly important role in the global fight against the spread of COVID-19.
3D printing is used by more and more companies in the medical field. Craftbot is delighted to see the growing demand for 3D printers not only for ventilator systems, but also for dental and orthopedic purposes. The demand in Hungary is continuously increasing as well which means that Craftbot’s collaboration with medical partner companies is also expanding.
The MassVentil project, which is also supported by the European Commission, set the goal to develop a working prototype for a modular mass ventilator system, which, under critical circumstances, can be used to simultaneously ventilate a large number of coronavirus patients in critical condition. Plans and results are available for free for those who wish to use it during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The project team is based at the University of Óbuda, which institute is already using Craftbot 3D printers for educational purposes. To continue the collaboration between the two organizations, Craftbot offered two high-performance 3D printers and a large amount of filaments for this innovative project.
Current equipments provide ventilation for one patient at a time
The MassVentil system, which has now been developed and tested in a laboratory environment, will be able to simultaneously ventilate 5 people at the moment and up to 50 or more in the future, while protecting healthcare professionals. Dr. Miklós Kozlovszky, research and development engineer, head of the project, explained the technical solutions of the MassVentil Project.
Simulation of the usage of the Mass Ventilator System at University of Óbuda
“The system also protects the healthcare professionals by transporting the contaminated exhaled air from the common hospital space, unlike currently used ventilators.” - explains the expert, as doctors and nurses are exposed to a high level of pathogen agents in the air of the ward. The new equipment removes and filters exhaled contaminated air from the common space, significantly reducing the risk of infection of the healthcare staff.
Dr. Kozlovszky also highlighted that most equipment cannot be used without hospital infrastructure, such as wall-mounted air/gas technology or continuous power supply. The MassVentil System can be installed outside healthcare facilities, without advanced hospital infrastructure, even in emergency camp environment.
Summarizing video of the project
The work of the developers has been supported by several voluntary cooperators from the beginning. Craftbot contributed to the development of MassVentil by offering a Craftbot FLOW and a Craftbot FLOW IDEX printer to make some parts of the MassVentil system. At the start of the project the Craftbots were used for printing initial prototypes for the MassVentil System. According to the developers, the printers basically worked continuously for weeks during the production of the prototypes.
Printing the prototypes of MassVentil’s parts
The printers were set up by the service staff of Craftbot. The employees also provided useful practical advice to the engineers and the students of the University of Óbuda who are working on the project in order to produce the elements in the best possible quality. The deployment was quick as the MassVentil team was already familiar with FDM technology.
Another interesting thing is that the construction of the patient-side unit was designed in a way that multiple components can be well manufactured with FDM 3D printers. However, the most spectacular component is the cover of the patient-side control unit itself with the pushbuttons and ventilator valve assembly fasteners. Due to the complexity of the development process, most of the elements have acquired their final forms after several versions, which no longer change during pre-clinical trials.
Patient-side control unit
The further development of the system will be based on the experience of the prototype phase, keeping in mind the plastic and metal industry technologies suitable for small serial production. However, 3D printing can play an important role in the development and finalization of layouts too.
The Hungarian-led project involves international professionals, teachers and students from several universities around the world, who also contribute their expertise to the success of the development.
The mission of Craftbot is to broaden the list of universities that use 3D printing technology in their education. It is certainly important to support the scientists of the future to get to know the most innovative technologies already during their educational years. Therefore, Craftbot is particularly pleased that it can support this innovative project of University of Óbuda to help the future scientists acquire knowledge and new skills of 3D printing.
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