How 3D Printing Swabs Will Aid America’s COVID-19 Testing Shortage | Forbes

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As we aim to reopen the economy, COVID-19 testing is of the utmost importance but there is a serious shortage of testing swabs. To aid the demand, the 3D printing industry has come together to tackle this problem head-on. Origin, Carbon, Desktop Metal, Formlabs, HP and other 3D printing companies have formed a coalition of sorts to ramp up production of 3D printed test swabs in a industry-wide effort not yet seen before the pandemic.

The impact the consortium could have is enormous. Each company is utilizing their own network of universities, hospitals, and dental practices to produce and distribute nasal swabs at a local level across the country. Wide-scale testing will be needed in order to safely reopen the economy, and continued testing will be required for long after that. The demand could be in the hundreds of millions. Will this be the 3D printing industry’s turning point from novelty item to manufacturing standard?

0:01 Why do we need COVID-19 testing to reopen the economy, and where do those tests come from?

1:52 Meet the 3D printing companies that are manufacturing nasopharyngeal swabs in America

3:35 What do these nasopharyngeal swabs look like and why are they difficult to design properly?

5:01 Why 3D printing is poised to meet the demand for testing more easily than other manufacturing sectors

5:59 Can I do this at home? (No.)

6:40 How did these companies – fierce competitors – come together to tackle the crisis together?

7:46 Looking ahead at 3D printing during the pandemic

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