3D Incubator - The High Technology Business Incubator for 3D Printing
El Consorci de Zona Franca de Barcelona Fundación LEITAT
The High Technology Business Incubator for 3D Printing
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BLOG » 3D Incubator receives more than 1000 proposals to help the healthcare sector
13 May 2020
3D Incubator receives more than 1000 proposals to help the healthcare sector
3D Incubator Press
The 3D Incubator team has received over 1000 messages with requests for 3D-printed parts, partnership proposals and consultations to help the healthcare sector.
3D Incubator receives more than 1000 proposals to help the healthcare sector

The email address proposals@dfactorybcn.org was enabled on 21st March, available to any individual, entrepreneur or company that needs to print pieces for the fight against COVID-19. All proposals received will be analysed, and those that can be carried out in the incubator laboratories, under the supervision and advice of the 3D Incubator technical team, will be selected.

This initiative aims to collaborate and combine efforts in order to develop 3D-printed projects for the fight against the pandemic, and to support health services, as well as essential workers. In the face of the current situation, many companies and organisations have been forced to adapt their activity to the development of technological solutions to facilitate the difficult task of health workers, and help to minimise the possible impact on society.  

The 3D Incubator is involved in the production of the following 3D-printed projects to assist health services and facilitate access to assisted breathing equipment for patients affected by the COVID-19 virus, such as the LEITAT 1 respirator and the MULTIVENT splitter, which multiplies access to assisted ventilation equipment.

LEITAT 1 is a field respirator made with 3D-printed parts and authorised by the Spanish Medicine Agency (AEMPS) for a clinical trial. The equipment provides life support to people with respiratory failure by providing ventilation controlled by volumetric and pressure sensors, with oxygen alarms, to facilitate their use by health workers and ensure their functionality over a longer period of time in patients with severe coronavirus. It is a robust and compact respirator made up of 3D parts with HP Multi Jet Fusion technology. It was designed by the senior engineer of Leitat, Magí Galindo, and medically validated by Dr. Lluís Blanch, Director of Innovation at Hospital Parc Taulí in Sabadell, expert in mechanical ventilation. 

The respirator was developed in a little over two weeks with the backing of CatSalut, through the Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa  (CST) and the Hospital Parc Taulí in Sabadell, with the support of the 3D Incubator technical team and facilities for the production of 3D-printed pieces and the creation of various prototypes to reach the final version of the field ventilator, Leitat 1.3.

It is a robust and compact respirator made up of 3D-printed parts with HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology and designed to be industrially scalable, in order to achieve a daily production of 50 units, at a cost ten times lower than that of a conventional respirator.

Hospitals have already begun to receive the first LEITAT 1 respirator units, including large hospitals such as the Hospital Parc Taulí in Sabadell, the Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa, Hospital Vall d'Hebron and Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, and in regional hospitals such as Granollers, Vall d'Aran, Olot, Campdevànol, Hospital Sant Bernabé in Berga, the Fundación Hospital de La Seu d’Urgell, and Pallars. In the coming days, the Hospital de Reus, Hospital Santa Tecla in Tarragona, and the regional hospitals of the Terres de l'Ebre will also have the LEITAT 1 respirator.

Currently, a daily production of 50 units is achievable: HP is producing 3D-printed parts in collaboration with Leitat, while the assembly and logistics of the equipment is being carried out by the Fundación CARES, a special work centre for the reintegration of people with disabilities and at risk of social exclusion; and CODEC, its entity for reintroduction into the workplace. In addition, volunteers from B. Braun Medical and Cirsa Gaming Corporation have participated in the testing phases. The LEITAT 1 respirator has also received various contributions from individuals and companies (including Cellnex and Almirall) and its developers are coordinating various collaborations with other similar projects, both national and international.

The MULTIVENT splitter allows accessibility to more than one patient affected by coronavirus with a single respirator. This piece printed in polyamide 12 (PA12) with HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology will allow the simultaneous use of a single assisted breathing machine for multiple patients with the same ventilation requirements. These splitters have been manufactured following the instructions of the General Management of Basic Portfolio of SNS and Pharmacy Services.

The production of these pieces has been carried out by a group of organisations that have offered their facilities and production capacity on a voluntary basis: 3D Incubator, 3DSix, Avinent-Corus, Barel, Eurecat, Fundació CIM-UPC, Hipra, HP, Ineo, Pantur and Prometal3D.

At the same time, the Intensive Care Units of Hospital de la Vall d’Hebron and the Consorci Sanitari De Terrassa form part of the group working for its effective protocol and implementation.

This health emergency situation, unprecedented in our recent history, has sparked the solidarity and collaboration of multiple individuals and companies from all sectors. At the incubator we have numerous examples resulting from the collaboration and synergies that have emerged between various incubated projects. Below, you can see a selection.

  • Platform to group validated parts: contribution from 3YourMind. This platform has focused on consolidating medically validated parts, which have been in short supply due to the crisis. To do this they have created a website that consolidates efforts in Europe, the USA and Latin America, in order to produce these parts using 3D printing, also including potential suppliers of these parts, as they identify those who have printers available. In this way they are able to provide the entities making requests (hospitals and clinics) with information on the nearest suppliers.
  • Design and optimisation of parts: contribution from 3Digital Factory, Addit·ion, TBIOM, Mi Pequeña Fábrica, 3DBide and Drukatt Componentes. This business initiative has designed adapters so that the diving masks from Decathlon can be used as respirators. The adapters are 3D printed, with SLA technology (Formlabs), on previously tested materials. In addition, the LayertoLayer team have offered their 3D-printing equipment and produced protective material for sanitary equipment (masks and screens).
  • Printing, consumables and spare parts: contribution from This is a business initiative to help, by way of their experience and resources, to counteract the effects of COVID-19. To do this, they have dedicated themselves to manufacturing, with their equipment installed in showrooms, spare parts for assisted breathing equipment, PPE (masks and aids to open doors), and prototypes of new equipment that the crisis has created a need for (respirators). They also supply consumables and spare parts to companies that are also printing, and collaborate by sharing their knowledge of 3D printing. 
  • Universal mask for CPAP assisted breathing devices: contribution from Addit·ion and Airmony. This initiative is working on the design of a universal mask for CPAP assisted breathing devices which allows the use of filters to prevent contamination/spread of the virus both when inhaling and exhaling. They have also designed various models of exhalation valves, as well as several oxygen connectors which allow physicians to adjust, in situ, the amount of oxygen in the mixture needed by the patient at each stage of the disease.

 With all these joint projects, both the incubator and incubated companies continue to work together to contribute, through their knowledge and resources, to the economic and social recovery of Spain in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, and to support the entrepreneurial and health ecosystem.

El Consorci de Zona Franca de Barcelona Fundación LEITAT

Member of:

Project name: High Technology Incubators to promote Innovation and Technology Transfer to Micro-SMEs by the autonomous Community of Catalonia. Resolution IAT 1809.

Name of the operation: D-Factory High Technology Incubator in advance manufacturing, additive manufacturing and 3DP.

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