This talk will review key techniques used to design, prototype and fabricate a low-cost, 3D-printed ventilator known as the BubbleVent.
The BubbleVent was developed to help address the acute global ventilator shortage that emerged at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The BubbleVent adapts hydro-pneumatic principles commonly used to support premature infants suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress (ARDS) and applies them in a novel configuration. This configuration provides comprehensive time-cycle, pressure-limited ventilation to adults in respiratory distress without any electronics, using a single gas source.
Our multidisciplinary global team developed the BubbleVent for production using a wide range of 3D printing and conventional production techniques. We will review the key, and potentially novel, techniques and design approaches used to create the BubbleVent using low-cost, low-resolution, material extrusion 3D printers. These techniques include methods for ensuring airtight valve chambers, finishing valve surfaces and strengthening critical parts. Key design approaches include balancing design for multiple 3D printing processes and injection molding, design for tool-free assembly and integration with mass-produced and/or reusable components. Design verification, quality control, and quality management system considerations will also be reviewed.
- Upon completion, the participant will be able to apply key 3D printing design for manufacture methods, including appropriate application of secondary production and finishing processes.
- Upon completion, the participant will be able to apply key design verification and validation strategies to parts produced using material extrusion 3D printing.
- Upon completion, the participant will be understand a path to scale investments in production infrastructure supported by 3D printing.