Editor's Note: Here is another great response to our call for examples of how industrial lasers are rising to meet and beat the COVID-19 challenge.—David Belforte, Editor-in-Chief, Industrial Laser Solutions
Rapid Application Group (Broken Arrow, OK) uses a number of laser-based additive manufacturing systems from both 3D Systems and EOS. These systems are key to their Coronavirus personal protective equipment (PPE) production efforts right now because of the Class VI biocompatible and sterilizable materials, as well as the fact that parts can be ‘stacked’ in a build to deliver greater productivity.
Rapid Application Group, a specialist in aerospace and defense additive production, pivoted three weeks ago to design and produce thousands of PPE masks and face shield devices for its local Oklahoma healthcare and first-responder community. The team has been reliant on selective laser sintering (SLS), a 3D printing technology, and has carefully followed FDA guidelines to receive FDA approval for the face shields last week—it is expecting FDA approval for the masks soon. The team has worked with local healthcare providers to ensure fit and function of the masks. The devices are produced using Class VI biocompatible and sterilizable nylon materials, which means the devices can be reused after being sterilized in an autoclave. The SLS systems enable greater productivity by allowing hundreds of parts to be produced in a single build, meaning the company has ramped up to more than 300 devices being produced every day.
Rapid Application Group has been working 24/7 since the pandemic began, helping fill the disrupted supply chain and to make sure healthcare workers remain protected.
Companies, healthcare providers, and first responders can find out more at rapidapplicationgroup.com.