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HP teams with local 3D print farm to fight COVID-19

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 16 Apr 2020

HP and its global digital manufacturing community are mobilising their 3D printing teams, technology and production capacity to help deliver critical parts in the effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

In SA, HP is working with Johannesburg-based Mentis 3D to increase production of 3D designs to meet the most critical needs.

Applications being validated and finalised for industrial production include face masks, face shields, mask adjusters, nasal swabs, hands-free door openers, and respirator parts. 

To date, HP has produced more than 35 000 parts, a number that is growing, as partners and customers produce tens of thousands more.

The tech giant is also coordinating with government, health, and industry agencies to ensure an effective approach. 

Elisabeth Moreno, VP and MD of HP Africa, says: “We are collaborating across borders and industries to identify the parts most in need, validate the designs, and begin 3D printing them...We are all in this together and it's together that we will find the right solutions.”

Andrew Mentis, CEO of Mentis 3D, says his company is working with partners to ensure healthcare providers receive much-needed personal protective equipment and parts required for the fight against COVID-19.

He says Mentis is the only 3D print farm in Africa with the technology that can deliver production runs on this scale. “Our full range of HP MJF machines is currently running 24/7 producing the high volumes of medical materials that are needed. We are able to provide these services throughout Africa, so we encourage neighbouring countries to get in touch with us to assist with their requirements at this time.” 

HP’s global network of manufacturing partners is working to ensure that the 3D printed parts are available in any region around the world. 

In addition, the validated design files for many of the parts that do not require complex assembly are freely available at this Web site for download. 3D designers and innovators who wish to join the battle against COVID-19 can contribute new applications and ideas here.

Finally, anyone who needs support with application development or would like to order parts can submit a request here.