Essentium’s Response to COVID-19: A Letter From the CEO

| The Essentium Team

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Essentium 3D COVID-19 Response

As I said in my statement from March 25th, while Essentium cannot be a first responder, we can be a second-tier responder in the fight against Covid19.  Where the supply chain for PPE is faltering, we can step in.

We have stepped in.

We have mobilized our resources to complete the design of a protective mask kit comprising a reusable 3D printed mask frame and filtration media. We are now re-directing resources and capacity to production. The first run of 500 masks will be delivered to the Pflugerville Police and Fire Department next week following an order from the City of Pflugerville’s Pflugerville Community Development Corp. Thirty pilot units were delivered this week. We anticipate initial production capacity to be 5,000 units per week.

The concept of a first responder changed overnight for our nation. As well as our medical, police and emergency services, there is now an extended family of first responders such as grocery store workers, delivery personnel and refuse collectors. I am humbled by their dedication and thank them for everything they are doing to keep our families, communities and nation safe.

For information on the mask, please fill out this form.

From March 25, 2020:

We are in an unprecedented fight.

However, we, the manufacturing community of the U.S. – and the world – possess an incredible engine. Together, we have the potential to deploy a devastating weapon in the fight against our common enemy, COVID-19.  To turn on the engine requires coordinated leadership and response.

3D manufacturing presents itself as a critically important supply chain enabler. While we cannot be first responders, we can be second tier responders. Where the supply chain for critical medical equipment is faltering, we can step in. We can step in with speed, with strength, with growing scale – but most importantly, with flexibility.

As we step in, we are aware that it needs to happen with clarity, around appropriate guidelines, with water-tight coordination and subject to the highest level of oversight. This form of ‘grand covering’ will ensure that any printed part of any piece of medical equipment is produced only using approved materials, is produced to approved design, and can be produced at scale with reliable and repeatable quality.

There are three categories, tiers if you like, in which 3D manufacturing can play an immediate and critical role as part of a coordinated effort with civil and national defense bodies, local government, federal bodies such as OSHA and the FDA, medical equipment manufacturers, and idustry guidelines such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) that guarantee reproducibility of product quality to set specifications.

  • Category 1 Response: 3D printing for PPE (personal protective equipment)
  • Category 2 Response: 3D printing for Med Device Component Mfg (e.g. venturi valves and other components for ventilators)
  • Category 3 Response: 3D printing for Building Ecosystem Components  (e.g. hands-free door opener)

Essentium, led by the company’s COVID-19 Response Strategy Team, has been investigating how we can mobilize our resources and significant IP in materials and AM production to aid in the fight against COVID-19. We are in advanced discussions with various organizations and once we achieve proof of concept, we will immediately move to action.

While the emergence of COVID-19 is testing the limits of global healthcare systems, I remain hopeful that a coordinated leadership and response at the highest levels of our industry will see us make meaningful steps to limit its impact on our communities.

Blake Teipel, Ph.D.

Essentium CEO and Co-founder

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