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Coronavirus 3Diligent Response to PPE Shortage

Posted on Mar 23, 2020 by Cullen Hikene

Free Use of new Shopsight software, Channeling of Medical Requests through ProdEX, Forming of PPE Design Consortium

As you are no doubt aware, the coronavirus has been rapidly spreading across our country and around the world. As we speak, there are medical facilities around the country that are in the process of being pushed to the limit by an influx of patients who have contracted the sickness. Stockpiles of personal protective equipment (PPE) are being rapidly depleted.

In response, numerous medical officials have called for anyone with a 3D printer to start printing devices to address this impending threat. This has led to an outpouring of offers from the 3D printing community to step up to the challenge. From online lists of willing makers to the widespread distribution of open-source PPE design concepts, the response has been tremendous.

With that said, the opportunity exists to take the response of distributed manufacturing resources across the country and around the world to the next level. Marshaling 3D printing capacity everywhere is one thing, but so too is engaging higher volume rapid manufacturing technologies like machining, casting, and injection molding. If, as a community, we can more effectively iterate on solutions, share the most promising ones readily, and allocate work orders to best match demand, we can maximize our positive impact while traditional manufacturers bring on their high volume production.

At 3Diligent, for the past five years, we have managed a global network of manufacturers equipped with professional and industrial 3D printers and other rapid-manufacturing equipment. Our procurement service, ProdEX, enables customers to submit custom manufacturing requests online and have them fulfilled on-demand with our manufacturing network. Our new ERP software, Shopsight, empowers manufacturers to deliver the highest quality parts faster and more reliably. Both of those software packages are in beta, but we are bringing them to the fore now in light of this need.

3Diligent is currently in discussions with various government entities and hospital groups about potentially supporting their need. While exactly what shape 3Diligent’s support will take is still to be determined, we will be taking the following steps in light of the resources at our disposal:

First, we will be working with members of the medical community to confirm the viability and efficacy of various open-source PPE designs. It is critically important that whatever we collectively manufacture, it is of sound design and manufacturing quality such that it achieves its intended purpose. We strongly welcome participation from the OEM community to expedite the time to an approved design. For medical-device experts interested in design and manufacturing review, please email PPEdesign@3diligent.com.

Second, we will be making our Shopsight software available for free during this crisis to anyone with 3D printing/digital manufacturing capability who seeks to alleviate the PPE shortage due to coronavirus. We will pre-load the approved CAD files and manufacturing instructions for proper manufacturing of PPE to the software so that anyone interested in making a mask has clear step-by-step instructions on how to go about doing so. In this way, we will also be able to aggregate any feedback from manufacturers to improve designs and parameters for manufacturability. Anyone seeking to register their machines in the network may do so at myshopsight.3diligent.com.

Third, 3Diligent is creating a streamlined mechanism for medical facilities in need of respirators to manage requests of the manufacturing community through our ProdEX manufacturing portal. Credentialed medical professionals and government organizations seeking PPE will be given a unique code to log in and submit a request with required quantities and delivery dates. With clearer visibility into the exact needs of these facilities, we expect to streamline connections between distributed manufacturing capacity and critical need areas to maximize positive impact. For medical operations seeking support, please contact covidsupport@3diligent.com.

Fourth, 3Diligent is open to spinning up additional instances of our software for organizations seeking to coordinate their own response. If the public sector or private sector organizations would prefer to quarterback their own responses, we are wide open to that.

It is our hope that the combination of these actions will result in providing an orderly and effective response to those members of the medical community we support. We thank you in advance for participating in this effort, or in spreading the word.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Cullen Hilkene
CEO, 3Diligent

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