DIAMOnD project becomes latest to engage in 3D printing of tourniquets for injured Ukrainians

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The DIAMOnD (Distributed, Independent, Agile Manufacturing On-Demand) project has joined the growing number of organizations committed to helping 3D printing for Ukrainians injured by Russian troops.

While Ukraine is still besieged by Russian forces, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has requested that bandage tourniquets be shipped to the country, sparking initiatives in the 3D printing industry. Today, Automation Alley’s DIAMOnD project has added to those efforts, mobilizing every 3D printer in its network to create tourniquet clips, which it plans to ship to Makershelp for assembly.

“The specific part the Ukrainian government needed was a tourniquet clip that cannot be produced easily with conventional means quickly due to lead times in mold making,” says Pavan Muzumdar, COO of Automation Alley. . “The 3D printers and the Onyx material we have available through the DIAMonD project were perfect for this application.”

“We are grateful to be able to help the Ukrainian people in one way or another.”

The DIAMOnD project is enabled by a network of 300 3D printers. Photo via Markforged.

Automation Alley DIAMOnD Project

Launched by Automation Alley, a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB), the DIAMOnD project was initially established as a PPE production network at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Since then, however , the organization says its initiative has grown into the “largest distributed 3D printing network” in the United States.

Already the project has attracted an impressive list of contributors, with Markforged, Microsoft, Autodesk, Giggso each pledging their support. As this expansion continues, companies like 3YOURMIND have also joined the DIAMOnD project, aiming to use its Agile ERP and Agile MES programs to help coordinate production between participating facilities in a streamlined way.

In practice, the project has seen contributors pool their resources through a decentralized cloud network, through which they can group together to fulfill large orders, allowing them to keep their workflows running 24/7 and immunize their operations against supply chain disruptions.

3D printed parts that make up a tourniquet.  Photo via BCN3D.
3D printed parts that make up a tourniquet. Photo via BCN3D.

Responding to Ukraine’s Call to Action

Since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022, concerted efforts have been made to get humanitarian supplies into the country to help those caught up in the fighting. With organizations in the 3D printing industry wanting to do their part to help, this has led many people to start producing tourniquets, which are basically devices designed to stop severe bleeding.

One of the first to do so was Glia, who launched an open-source tourniquet 3D printing campaign in early March, which saw him release his own medical device design and seek to raise $25,000 for the mass produce. This was followed by another initiative in Spain, through which BCN3D 3D printed 300 tourniquet pieces, before delivering them to hospitals in the Ukrainian cities of Kryvyi Rih and Dnipro.

Aiming to do its part to help these humanitarian efforts, the DIAMOnD project has also announced plans to produce tourniquet parts through its distributed manufacturing network of 300 3D printers. Once ready, these tourniquet clips are expected to be shipped to Danish organization Makershelp, itself a partner of Glia and Ukraine-Denmark Humanitarians, which intends to turn them into usable devices.

According to the organizers of the DIAMOnD project, the initiative demonstrates once again that “in times of crisis, 3D printing is the ideal technology to produce the necessary parts”, not only because of its “flexibility and speed “, but how she’s able to take advantage of designs that are “digitally shared across multiple sites and producers.”

“The DIAMOnD project allowed us to experiment with 3D printing and innovate for our own business while simultaneously giving us the opportunity to contribute to humanitarian efforts when we need it. It’s a win-win,” said added Richard Canny, President of Ultimation Industries, LLC, a Michigan-based conveyor manufacturer, “Through the DIAMOnD project, we were able to implement a full digital process and we are really happy to be able to contribute to this particular Ukrainian effort. “

“It’s a small thing, but we’re happy to be able to help. It’s a great example of how additive manufacturing can quickly address a need like this.

Many 3D printing companies now refuse to deal with companies based in Russia. Image via Wikipedia.

AM Resists Russian Aggression

The 3D printing industry has been almost unequivocal in its condemnation of the Russian invasion and its support for the Ukrainian people. Shortly after Russia launched its assault on the country, leaders of the 3D printing industry declared their support for NATO’s policy against Putin’s regime and expressed their “solidarity with all people affected by war”.

EOS, 3D Systems and HP are also among a number of 3D printing companies that now refuse to do business in Russia, in order to take a stand against Russian military aggression. In the case of Zortrax, the Polish 3D printer maker even ended negotiations over a hugely lucrative sharing deal with a Russian investor in light of the ongoing invasion.

Elsewhere, in more positive developments, 3YOURMIND has started working with Sygnis and TeenCrunch to support the ‘Tech Against Tanks’ initiative. So far, the project has mainly focused on supporting the production and distribution of 3D printed medical, tactical and protective equipment from print centers and manufacturers across Poland, Germany and Ukraine.

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Featured image shows a row of Markforged 3D printers. Photo via Markforged.

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