The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Formlabs an Emergency Approval (EUA) for a 3D printed part that will transform BiPAP devices for sleep apnea into much-needed ventilators. The offer was one of dozens of ventilators and accessories that received such approval over the weekend.
The company plans to use 150 3D printers at its Somerville, Massachusetts facility to manufacture the part, which will then be distributed to hospitals and local authorities in the United States.
“Before the COVID 19 pandemic, the FDA had only approved a handful of them EUAs over a period of 30 years, ”said CEO Max Lobovsky in a press release. "Hospitals across the country can also use Formlabs printers to create these adapters locally based on their own medical practice. This means that printing the adapters in scale in the most affected areas is as easy as uploading a design and pressing of pressure. "
Formlabs is one of several 3D printing companies that are active in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented situation has created a number of different challenges for which the technology is uniquely suited. Formlabs has been working specifically on a number of solutions in the past few months, including a swab for COVID-19 test kits. Other projects include mask shields and adapters for converting snorkel masks to PPE.