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In-House 3D Printing of Ventilator Parts

Last Updated: May 18, 2020


Project Overview: Patient hospitalizations as a result of COVID-19 have increased the need for ventilators. While the call for designing ventilators has been widespread, similar attention has not been as focused on the single-use components of these machines, whose supply chains may likewise be limited. To address the critically low supply of single-use ventilator parts, a collaborative project was started between volunteers from the Stanford School of Medicine and Stanford Health Care. The team leveraged fast prototyping and 3D printing to develop custom ventilator parts (adapters, T-connectors, etc.) that are sterilizable and reusable, and produced just-in-time. The parts allow for metered dose inhaler (MDI) and nebulized medication administration and are nebulizer-compatible. The small size of the components allows for quick manufacturing via 3D printing. In contrast, PPE tends to have longer production timelines and higher needs in terms of number per day, beyond the usual capacity of available 3D printers. An average of 100 of our smaller components can be printed per day directly onsite and are currently being implemented for patient care. The designs are accessible online and can be easily customized to meet the requirements of different ventilators or the particular needs and designs of the clinicians and technologists using this equipment. 

Team and Collaborators: Design and optimization of the ventilator parts were conducted by members of the Airan Lab. This team comprises four core members: a Stanford Medicine PhD Student in Biophysics, a Stanford MSTP G3 Student in Biophysics, a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellow, and a Stanford Medicine Assistant Professor. Testing and implementation were led by physicians, specialists, and clinical collaborators in the Stanford Health Care Critical Care and Respiratory Care Teams. Printing, manufacturing, and materials consultation was completed with technologists and technicians of the Stanford Medicine 3D and Quantitative Imaging Laboratory. 


Brenda Yu, Stanford University (byu24@stanford.edu)