Team at University of Northern Iowa 3D prints parts for respirators for healthcare workers

Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 12:50 PM CDT
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A team from the Additive Manufacturing Center at the University of Northern Iowa used 3D printing technology to produce 30 hoses for powered air-purifying respirators, or PAPRs, for healthcare workers at MercyOne Cedar Falls Medical Center.

These respirators are an essential piece of personal protective equipment, or PPE, for healthcare workers helping patients with COVID-19. But due to high demand during the pandemic, they've been hard to come by.

"We had an urgent need for these hoses as they were in short supply around the country," site administrator of MercyOne Cedar Falls Medical Center Mary Jo Kavalier said. "The team at UNI really helped us out by taking our existing hose and reverse engineering what we needed."

The team took the specifications from an existing hose and programmed the part into their computer systems to print the new hoses.

No one in the group made any money on the project.