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Amid mask shortage, university deploys 3D printers

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:19s - Published
Amid mask shortage, university deploys 3D printers

Amid mask shortage, university deploys 3D printers

A South African university is using its cutting edge 3D printing technology to manufacture visors, after healthcare workers reported shortages of equipment as they battle the coronavirus epidemic.

David Doyle reports.

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A South African university is putting some of its most sophisticated technology to work in tackling a shortage of protective medical equipment.

The University of Pretoria has deployed its 3D printers to manufacture visor frames for face shields.

Each of its three printers takes about an hour to produce a visor, layering up around 20 per day.

The project is being led by the manager of the university's digital and innovation center, Isak Van Der Walt.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA, DIGITAL SCHOLARSHIP AND INNOVATIONS MANAGER, ISAK VAN DER WALT SAYING: "3D printers allows us to act quickly to this demand.

It's rapid prototyping so it's not mass manufacturing but with 3D printers, we have the ability to react to this call and I think we need to give our health care workers all the help they can get." From Gaza to Greece, France to the Philippines, enthusiasts of 3D printing - also known as additive manufacturing - have responded to increased demand for medical equipment.

On Monday (April 6) the World Health Organization voiced concerns that the wearing of medical masks by the general public could exacerbate a shortage for healthcare professionals.

And in South Africa, local media reported complaints last month that some of those working on the frontline were having to reuse the masks that are meant to protect them.




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