COVID-19 brought on many changes and hardships in many industries. There were industries that thrived while others seemed to disappear. One thing that did not disappear during the pandemic was additive manufacturing or 3D Printing. We came into a time when everyone was sent home and work became harder to do. How were we able to keep going in a time when mass loads of people couldn’t work together? 3D printing was able to accomplish just that!
What is 3D Printing?
In simplest terms, it is a form of printing in which through a program on a computer you construct what you wish to be printed and through a machine, it constructs and prints the 3D image you created on your system or device.
How has 3D Printing Evolved during COVID-19?
With people having to work from home, we’ve had to find other ways to make equipment when it runs low. Most 3D printers are small enough that they can be used anywhere — even at home! According to PEW Research Center, “ First, unlike most medical device manufacturing—which takes place at centralized facilities that are, in many cases, located abroad—3D printers are relatively portable and can be used at different sites, including the hospital itself”.
This means that with this kind of technology we have now we can use it to make things faster and in more places than a centralized factory. This showed that technology like this should be invested in and 3D printing is important, and can be done by ultimately anyone!
Some uses of 3D Printing during the pandemic include:
- Medical Devices
- Testing Devices and Equipment
- Personal protections (not medical related)
- Emergency rooms
3D Printing during the pandemic has helped people utilize technology to continue or even improve production during a time when products are running out so quickly. With the help of additive manufacturing, deficits were diminished and people had everything they needed.