FRANKFURT: German carmaker Volkswagen said it was joining other manufacturers around the world to explore using 3D printing to make hospital ventilators to combat the coronavirus. Governments are enlisting automakers including Ford, General Motors, Ferrari and Nissan to ramp up production of ventilators and other equipment they are short of to treat the fast-spreading disease. In a statement, Volkswagen said it had assembled a task force, was testing materials and checking supply chains to see how it can use 3D printing to help manufacture hospital ventilators and other life-saving equipment.
“Medical equipment is a new field for us. But as soon as we understand the requirements, and receive a blueprint, we can get started,” Volkswagen said, adding that prototype components had been printed and its Skoda arm was included in the project. A spokesman said the Wolfsburg-based, multi-brand company, which has more than 125 industrial 3D printers, was in close contact with governments and other authorities to assess needs. General Motors in a statement said it was working with Ventec Life Systems to enable the medical device maker to leverage the US automaker’s logistics and expertise to build more ventilators. — Reuters