Drive and automation technology company SEW-EURODRIVE has joined a nationwide campaign to use three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to produce much-needed face masks and shields for healthcare workers and first responders.
There is a global shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) amid the spread of Covid-19.
South Africa too faces a shortage of PPE, prompting various companies to use their existing resources to produce 3D-printed face masks.
The initiative was organised by 3D printing solutions provider Additive Manufacturing Solutions (AMS), with MD Bernhard Vogt having called on all companies and individuals equipped with such technology to join the campaign.
To date, the initiative has produced 15 000 face shields to meet the needs of private healthcare providers such as Netcare, as well as for the Department of Health.
Vogt says he was inspired to mobilise local 3D printing resources after Europe embarked on a similar initiative.
“Only after South Africa’s cases started to escalate after the national lockdown was implemented did the dire need for such gear become apparent,” he says.
SEW-EURODRIVE, which has a 3D printer in its design department, responded, and an engineer is printing masks from the safety of his home. The project is being overseen by the design and engineering departments.
“Not only do we adhere to all of the lockdown regulations and stipulations, but are making a positive and practical contribution to keeping healthcare workers and first-line responders safe so they can carry on with their important roles,” SEW-EURODRIVE MD Raymond Obermeyer comments.