aamc.org does not support this web browser.

3D Printing of Personal Protective Equipment - Overcoming Supply Chain Shortages

Last Updated: July 7, 2020


Additive manufacturing technologies, namely 3D printing, are increasingly utilized in biomedical design, patient care, and public health. Recent examples, such as the 3D printing of ventilator equipment, have highlighted the flexibility, durability, and utility of 3D printing when supply chain shortages occur. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has led to global shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), putting healthcare workers at increased risk of disease exposure and transmission. 3D printing of PPE has been demonstrated on small scales, however current designs may be uncomfortable for daily use, challenging to sanitize, and ultimately of limited use. 

Seldinger Technologies is investigating ergonomic, 3D printed PPE. We currently are involving M4 students in interprofessional collaborations with physicians, nurses and healthcare administrators to design and print PPE. Tasks would include: 

  • Designing ergonomic PPE 
  • Improving PPE manufacturing throughput 
  • Testing PPE for cleaning, durability and reusability 
  • Distribution of PPE to healthcare facilities

Project participation is open to students of all years as well as other healthcare professionals. Previous design experience is preferred but not required.


Douglas Yim, M.D. , University of South Dakota (douglas.yim@avera.org)