Airbus to produce 3D-printed visors in fight against COVID-19

April 17, 2020  - By
Photo: Nenad Stojnev/E+/Getty Images

Photo: Nenad Stojnev/E+/Getty Images

Survey Copter, the tactical drones division of Airbus, will be starting production of medical protection visors using the 3D printers normally used to build drones.

The parts produced with a 3D printer, using fused deposition modeling on an ABS type plastic base, account for up to 15% of the components of a drone built by Survey Copter, the company said. More than 20 printers are being used to produce the visors.

The Survey Copter 3D printers take about 45 minutes to produce a visor. According to the company, they’re not certified from the outset as medical equipment but they nonetheless offer the required protection and, given the urgency, are being officially approved by the Montélimar Hospital in France.

The challenge is to be able to produce a visor capable of withstanding the disinfection procedures used in a hospital environment at temperatures of up to 110 degrees Celsius, without deformation or opacity, the company added.

“Providing our urgent assistance to the medical sector, faced as it is with the COVID-19 epidemic, is one of our priorities, both locally and internationally, and the reactivity of Nicolas Askamp and his teams at Survey Copter is a perfect illustration of this,” said Dirk Erat, head of communications at Airbus Defence and Space.

In addition, Airbus in Germany joined the project. The Airbus Protospace Germany and the Airbus Composite Technology Centre in Stade, together with the 3D-printing network named “Mobility goes Additive,” are now supporting this project in Spain, also coordinating the collection and transport of visors to the Madrid region.

About the Author: Allison Kral

Allison Kral is the former digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Pit & Quarry magazine, Portable Plants magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.