We all know the global outbreak that happened in early 2020, COVID-19, a contagious disease that affected the health and lives of so many people around the world. The medical system and personnel soon faced a challenge. The lack or insufficient protective equipment which was urgently needed.
Something needed to be done and fast. That’s when the 3D printing community became a ray of hope. Proto3000, along with Stratasys and other partners offered their support to 3D print over 100,000 face shields for the hospitals, medical personnel, and additional first-line responders.
It is true that the 3D printers are the kings in this life-story but the queen was a software that helped to put together the mass production of face shields: GrabCAD SHOP.
Without GrabCAD Shop, 3D printing over 100,000 face shields would not have been possible.
Facilitating Face Shield Production
The Stratasys facility in Minnesota, US, became the production centre and the hub for 3D printing, cutting, and shipping thousands of face shields. And because of such a united community, over 600 companies filled out the Stratasys response form whether for requesting supplies or for making available their printing and manufacturing capabilities.
“A virtual model shop was set up in GrabCAD Shop when we realized we needed a way to connect requests from all the hospitals to our 100+ partners who volunteered their printing capacity,” explains GrabCAD Shop Product Manager Anirudh Krishnakumar. “Once we set it up, we had the Stratasys operations team playing the liaison role, tracking face shield requests from hospitals, and uploading them as orders of 100 each to GrabCAD Shop.”
The advantages of GrabCAD Shop
- Monitoring the volume of incoming requests that led to an accurate planning of material inventory
- Tracking orders that included all pertinent information such as
- Desired completion time
- CAD files
- Acceptable biocompatible materials
- Shipping information with tracking included
“GrabCAD Shop tracked the entire lifecycle of the requests from the time the hospital requested it, until the time the shields reached the doorstep of Stratasys offices in MN, to then be packed and shipped to the hospitals, explained Anirudh Krishnakumar, GrabCAD Shop Product Manager.