Within less than 24 hours of the announcement, hundreds of requests were received for protective visors produced in record time by Weerg and PressUP and offered to hospitals at no charge.
"The call center we set up is always busy, but we were able to respond to the call of the Italian Civil Protection to which we will deliver the last 500 protective visors that are already finished", explains Vincenzo Cirimele, CEO PressUP who immediately embraced the idea of Matteo Rigamonti, Weerg's founder, who adds: "We are managing the social networks. Through the numerous sharing, the news has made the tour of Italy in a few hours and we continue to receive requests, many from hospitals and nursing homes". From the dozens of posts on Facebook emerges all the excitement of the moment, the fear of those on the front line.
"We must protect our staff," they write. From Weerg and PressUP, therefore, starts a heartfelt appeal to all makers in Italy who also have a small 3D printer. "We ask those who have this equipment or digital milling machines to join us. We can share all the details of the project in opensource so that we can meet the demand that has overwhelmed us," adds Cirimele. The two entrepreneurs are therefore the spokesmen of the need, now more than ever, to create productive networks, with the optimistic vision that in the near future these collaborations can contribute to restart the economy when the emergency is over.
The project of the protective visors is the result of a series of tests carried out based on the many prototypes present online that Weerg and PressUP have adapted also according to the advice of health personnel who collaborated in the development of the device. "By virtually combining our 3D Printing department with PressUP's digital production and logistics, we were able to produce the first prototypes in just a few days and start up an efficient production line between Venice and Rome in record time," explains Rigamonti.
A project, therefore, that stems from the virtuosity of Made in Italy entrepreneurship. Weerg - a revolutionary Italian e-commerce company offering CNC machining and 3D printing online, with the largest installation of HP Multi Jet Fusion 5210 industrial 3D printers, produces the visor structures in nylon PA12 which are then sent to the PressUP production site, on the outskirts of Rome. Here, at the premises of the Roman tech-company leader in online printing services, the screens are cut from 0.5 mm PET sheets using computerized cutters, the instructions for assembly are printed and shipments are handled.
As indicated in the two e-shops, the companies specify that these visors do not replace the necessary masks, but represent a first barrier that protects the eyes and mucous membranes of the mouth from sneezing and saliva of patients, creating a shield for the entire face against contact infections and thus providing valuable support in the protection of doctors and nurses working in the front line
The 3D printing technology, already used in various medical fields such as maxillofacial surgery, cardiology and orthopedics, is particularly efficient in the production of parts and components of medical devices and instruments so necessary at this time. In addition to protective visors, Weerg has already contributed to two other projects. The Veneto-based company is one of the entities that have accepted the appeal of Isinnova and FabLab Brescia by producing with 3D Printing the valves designed to transform snorkeling masks into emergency breathing masks. Another all-Italian project is the Openbreath program, which involves a multidisciplinary team engaged in the development of an innovative device for assisted breathing, to which Weerg has joined as a partner providing urgent components for an opensource pulmonary ventilator. "Our 3D printing technology is extremely fast and allows us to produce these components very quickly", explains Rigamonti. "Thanks to the effective collaboration with PressUP we have produced this first stock of protective visors in just 48 hours". Requests also come from private companies and operators, who want to provide additional protection for their employees. "These users can also place orders on our platforms, for a fee equal to the production costs we are incurring".