An Italian medical device manufacturer has threatened to sue a group of volunteers for using 3D printing technology to create a valve used to treat the new coronavirus,media reported. The valves typically cost medical device manufacturers $11,000, but the volunteers pushed the cost down to about $1 through 3D printing.
An Italian hospital has run out of valves while treating patients with new coronary pneumonia, and they are in desperate need of the medical material. However, the hospital’s long-time suppliers said they could not produce treatments in time, Metro reported. In response, Cristian Fracassihe and Alessandro Ramaioli of Isinnova, an Italian start-up, decided to use 3D printers to solve the problem.
However, when the pair reportedly borrowed a design from the valve manufacturer that could be used to print a copy, it was rejected and threatened to sue for patent infringement. But Fracassihe and Ramaioli continued by measuring the size of the valve and printing out three different versions of the valve using a 3D printer.
As of March 14, the valves they had made had been used in 10 patients, according to Massimo Temporelli, founder of FabLab, an Italian manufacturing solutions company.
” (These patients) are all in danger and we took action. Fracassi wrote on Facebook. He also said that they have no intention of profiting in this case, they will not use product design or the product itself, they will strictly follow the requirements of production, of course, they will not spread the drawings.
Here’s a photo of the valve shared by Italian Minister of Technology Innovation, Paola Pisano:
So far, more than 31,500 people have been confirmed in Italy with the new coronavirus and 2,500 have been confirmed dead.