At the time of urgent need for medical protective supplies, VZLÚ joined the activities of Czech industry in production of medical equipment.
Production of parts for protective medical shields began In the VZLÚ departments that are working with 3D printing technology (Materials and Technologies - Division Aviation and Design and Development – Division Space) in the time when there was an urgent need for protective material.
"From the beginning, we have been looking for possibilities how to get involved in the production of protective equipment, but it took us a while to find the right project. Originally, we thought about the production of respirators using 3D printing, but after the production of several prototypes, we haven´t find the designs of respirators to be good enough.” Adds Michal Král, head of the Design and Development department, who helped organize the project.
Joining the project of the company Prusa Reserach that manufactures and develops 3D printers was subsequently evaluated as the best step. The project is based on mass printing of face shields intended for medical staff. On the 3D printers it is possible to print the frames of the protective shields, to which the plexiglass is added.
After the first pieces printed, the company ALT, based in the area of the Letňany Science and Technology Park, contacted the VZLÚ and joined in with the production of plexiglass shields, which eventually led to the joint preparation of almost complete medical sets.
The shields were then transported to collection centres, from which, after final modifications, were sent to health centres or elderly centres.
"3D printing has built up its position in recent years in research and development centres around the world. We have seen now that this technology can also be also used in crisis situations. Thanks to the incredible variability, we managed to react quickly even in areas no one has expected it.” Adds Petr Bělský from the Materials and Technologies Department of VZLÚ.