May 15, 2020

Additive manufacturing used for local PPE solution in Belgium

Bruce Jenkins | Ora Research

“Over the last month or so, the Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has captured our collective consciousness across the globe and forced us to rethink every aspect of our professional and personal lives,” says Kaustubh Nande, Global Marketing Director at Hexagon’s| MSC Software. “Hexagon too has taken some concrete steps to protect our workforce and to minimize risk to the supply of our products and our services to our customers. For instance, we put in place a work from home program to use our smart manufacturing software packages and put together additional online learning options for manufacturing professionals.

“One interesting project undertaken by our team in Belgium was about using in-house knowledge and available material and tools to solve a specific issue posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. Across the globe, there have been several reports of hospital workers suffering from shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), due to the unprecedented demand across the world.”

The Hexagon | e-Xstream team at Belgium “heard about a requirement for PPE, specifically face shield holders, in a nearby hospital. The team decided to chip in and do its bit by conceptualizing an additive manufacturing solution to the problem. The team had access to a 3D printer and suitable material within the office. The team first found an open CAD model that was available online and plugged it into the 3D printer and used the design to 3D print some face shield holders right at the Hexagon office.”

The company says that, “backed by a thorough understanding of additive manufacturing techniques and knowledge about the use of Digimat and e-Xstream in plastic printing, the team was able to think smart and deliver on what the doctors required. In the coming weeks we will also be increasing the production count. The finished product met the need for equipment that could protect hospital staff. The key thing is these plastic PPE liners can be disinfected easily and reused by the hospital. Depending on material available you can print in various colors for easy identification.”

MSC concludes, “This gesture by our Belgium team stands out as a great example of how the right hardware and software tools combined with the proper knowledge can bring in quick, practical solutions to solve real-life issues quickly and effectively.”

Work-from-home information

MSC adds: “Our customers, employees, and partners are at the heart of what we do. Our concerns and well wishes go out to all those directly and indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are taking the threat very seriously by protecting our workforce and minimizing the risk to the supply of our products and services to you during this time. Across the globe, the measures being put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 means that many companies are asking their employees to work from home.

“Our goal is to offer the level of responsiveness and support that you have come to expect from MSC. If there is anything we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please visit for complete details on our current assistance programs, as well as check back for additional announcements in the coming days.”

Kaustubh Nande

Hexagon’s COVID-19 information page

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