Ventilaid is an unusual project straight out of Poland and just in time for the COVID crisis19: a team of engineers has developed and made available free of charge on the Internet a breathing apparatus that can be printed with a 3D printer for the modest sum of 40 euros.
The project uses inexpensive and widely available components – it could save the lives of thousands of people in places where access to such devices is difficult. The beta version of the device is ready to be deployed, while work on a second prototype is almost complete. At this stage, the support of specialists like doctors and engineers is necessary. Those who want to help can apply directly via the project’s website.
VentilAid vs Covid-19
The idea to produce a device that can be manufactured using a 3D printers and commonly available items came from Krakow-based Urbicum, a company specializing in 3D printing, “The development of the VentilAid concept took only two days for our main designer Mateusz Janowski,” explains Urbicom’s Szymon Chrupczalski. VentilAid differs from similar projects by avoiding certain pitfalls, in particular the difficulty of accessing certain spare parts. “We managed to create a fully functional device, for a total component cost of around 40 Euros”, the engineer says.
The low cost is a determining factor. After all, the project creators expect the demand for respirators to increase sharply in the coming months, which in turn will drastically increase the price of respiratory devices and making access to them difficult for patients in the poorest regions of the world.
The complete plans of the first functional VentilAid prototype is available for download on the project’s website. It contains a set of information necessary for printing and operating an operational device. Work on the second version is being finalized, and will be characterised by greater independence of power sources and the possibility of using even simpler components.
A collaborative project
The creators of VentilAid need help. “We are asking doctors, anesthesiologists and hospital technicians with experience working with respirators, as well as engineers specializing in 3D printing and managers to help us develop this project,” says Szymon Chrupczalski. “We hope to find people of goodwill around the world. Together, we can save the lives of many people. ”
This article has been first issued on polish site Wszystko Co Najwazniejsze