A few days ago we wrote about the 3D printed ventilator parts that were made and saving lives in Italy. Everyone should love this, right? The company that made the originals was not a fan, and threatened the 3D printer folks for infringing on the company’s intellectual property.
How did this happen? Well, before redesigning the part, they asked the company for help.
The supply of valves necessary for the operation of the ventilator was running out and that the manufacturer could not have supplied them in time short, as stocks have been out of stock for some time.
That didn’t stop the manufacturer from threatening them with infringement if they went forward. The 3D printing fellow, Christian Fracassi posted on Facebook, saying that we should place life above all, including rights. Fracassi appears to have printed about 100 valves.
Separately, there is work being done to make an open source ventilator. The difficulty is that frequently, parts have to be tested for use in hospitals, and open source isn’t like to be approved. Further, it may not even be what hospitals need, it could be literally every other supply that’s needed.