The Coronavirus pandemic is the most horrible and petrifying episode occurred since man’s supremacy on the Earth. Not only it has taken away over thousands of lives in its wake, but it has also given a series of sleepless nights to research and healthcare professionals across the world. Usually, technical innovations take birth when a crisis situation reaches its apex; some of the great examples are submarines (U-boats), computers, man’s first step on the moon, etc. which have been results of war, rivalry or race to be the leading nation of all. However, this situation is a bit different than any other which humans have come across until now. With numerous areas of modern science and research trying to up the game, there are many other sectors contributing their share in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic. The 3D-printing sector is one such field.
3D printing or additive manufacturing refers to the process which involves designing and development of a three-dimensional object by using a CAD model or a digital 3D model. In this process, materials are joined or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object. This technique is being used in several sectors including the aerospace industry. 3D printed parts fulfil industry-specific requirements as well as numerous safety-relevant risk levels generally used in aerospace. The world's leading aerospace companies are augmenting their usage of 3D printers for speeding up the manufacturing process, save money, and develop airplanes that consume lesser fuel.
How is the Aerospace 3D Printing Community Retorting to COVID-19?
As the Coronavirus pandemic is spreading across the world, we see many countries enforcing travel restrictions, social distancing rules, and work-from-home model for employees in IT sectors. Even the most developed nations are seeing their medical systems encumbered and drained because of the sudden wave of this pandemic.
The rise of COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant impact on the aerospace 3D printing market. The spread of COVID-19 is soaring every passing day and imposing a serious threat to the travel and tourism sector. The travel restrictions imposed by the government to avert the spread of this deadly disease has resulted in a sudden shutdown of the airplanes. Nevertheless, companies are striving to withstand their businesses by making appropriate investments in novel technologies. Several 3D-printing firms are at present making use of the 3D-printing technology to produce items such as face shields and ventilator splitters that are presently being used by people as a weapon against COVID-19 disease.
Airbus, the world's largest airliner manufacturer holds a patent design to develop visor frames, using PLA plastics. Most Airbus production factories in Spain have taken an initiative to make 3D printed visor frames for offering healthcare professionals with individual protection equipment as a safety measure against COVID-19.
However, Airbus has temporarily halted commercial aircraft manufacturing and assembly processes at its German plant in Bremen and Stade and also at its A220/A320 manufacturing plant in Mobile, Alabama, in response to the enduring Coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, nearly 78,000 men and women of Collins Aerospace and about 70 3D printers from Raytheon Technologies global locations have joined hands to produce face shield headbands. These firms have taken great initiative in bringing light to one the darkest chapter of world history. They are trying to distribute nearly 2,500 headbands to multiple healthcare centers and emergency response firms.
3D Printing Companies: The Unsung Heroes of COVID-19 War
If the situation goes beyond control, there might be chances of more severe cases of respiratory diseases, and patients could require high-quality respirators to perform the function of the lungs. Hence, to avoid such disrupting conditions more protective equipment are required. The aerospace 3D printing companies are playing a noble role in helping people in combating this life-threatening disease and are working to reshape the industry amidst and after Covid-19 crisis.