Ricoh 3D has pledged to support the battle against Covid-19 by offering to help produce vital ventilators in the UK.

“New ventilators are urgently required as the coronavirus crisis intensifies,” says Mark Dickin, additive manufacturing & moulding engineering lead at Ricoh 3D.

In Italy, a 3D printing company was able to supply a hospital with 100 respirator valves within 24 hours to connect patients to breathing machines. The valves usually cost around £9 000 to produce, but were made using 3D printing for less than £1 each.

“Our 3D business in Europe has been involved in making a range of medical products – from orthotics to precisely replicating limbs and creating surgical instruments used for intricate operations,” says Jacques van Wyk, CEO of Ricoh SA.

“These are unprecedented times and businesses, as well as individuals, need to do everything possible to save lives,” says Dickin. “Our team of experts are on standby to design and produce any required parts at a moment’s notice.

“We contacted Make UK and the UK government to confirm our support an increase in mass ventilator manufacturing,” he says. “We are confident we can help by using 3D printing to quickly and cost-effectively make vital components for ventilators.”