Brilliant Labs Magazine: Digital Hope

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3D Printers

WANTED Brilliant Labs Helps Start-Up Meet The Need For 3D Printed Medial Shields During COVID-19 Shutdown

By Wylie Butler | Program Specialist | Brilliant LabsoMeanwhile Down on the Farm . . . COVID-19 has changed our lives forever. As many have said, there will be a new normal. To some degree, we will work, shop, socialize, and travel differently. This virus and the practical knowledge to fight it is now very public in our immediately interconnected world. The supply chain of medical supplies needed to protect workers is incredibly strained. One very positive thing that has come out of this is that people around the world are putting their minds and tools together to find solutions to meet the supply shortages. From gowns to masks and shields, we see many a variety of designs that are being produced. The speed at which designs are made available, and being updated, and tweaked by others is mindblowing impressive. This is exciting! A worldwide team of sharp minds are coming together for the good of others. Money cannot buy this much brainpower!! 3D design and 3D printing have taken on a new life. It has been long considered that 3D printers were prototype tools only, since it is difficult to really make useful products with additive manufacturing. This notion is being largely disproven. For some time now, there has been a quiet, albeit slow, shift in how products are produced. Although there will likely always be a continued need for many of the traditional methods of mass production, 3D printing CAN and IS filling a gap in producing products for the mass market. A timely and perfect example of this is the production of face shields for the medical industry. Here In St. John’s, Newfoundland, there is a small start-up company called Polyunity, that has been largely focusing on the use of 3D design and 3D printing in the medical education field. With the need of face shields being urgent, Polyunity jumped into action. With support from Eastern Health, they 44

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