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Additive manufacturing and the COVID-19 challenges: An in-depth study
Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Volume: 60, Pages: 787 - 798
Swansea University Authors: Mokarram Hossain , Peter Dorrington
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DOI (Published version): 10.1016/j.jmsy.2020.12.021
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly achieved global pandemic status. The pandemic created huge demand for relevant medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) and put unprecedented pressure on the healthcare system within a very short span of time. Moreover,...
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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly achieved global pandemic status. The pandemic created huge demand for relevant medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) and put unprecedented pressure on the healthcare system within a very short span of time. Moreover, the supply chain system faced extreme disruption as a result of the frequent and severe lockdowns across the globe. In such a situation, additive manufacturing (AM) becomes a supplementary manufacturing process to meet the explosive demands and to ease the health disaster worldwide. Providing the extensive design customization, a rapid manufacturing route, eliminating lengthy assembly lines and ensuring low manufacturing lead times, the AM route could plug the immediate supply chain gap, whilst mass production routes restarted again. The AM community joined the fight against COVID-19 by producing components for medical equipment such as ventilators, nasopharyngeal swabs and PPE such as face masks and face shields. The aim of this article is to systematically summarize and to critically analyze all major efforts put forward by the AM industry, academics, researchers, users, and individuals. A step-by-step account is given summarizing all major additively manufactured products that were designed, invented, used, and produced during the pandemic in addition to highlighting some of the potential challenges. Such a review will become a historical document for the future as well as a stimulus for the next generation AM community.
COVID-19, Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Pandemic
Faculty of Science and Engineering