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COVID-19 Volkswagen uses 3D printing to produce face shields

From Erika Granath

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The coronavirus outbreak is forcing many companies to convert their business. In response to the current crisis, Volkswagen Group has started to produce face shield holders by 3D printing. Moreover, the Volkswagen Group will donate medical supplies for medical senters and hospitals with a total value of circa €40 million.

Volkswagen Group brands have started to produce face shield components by using 3D printing
Volkswagen Group brands have started to produce face shield components by using 3D printing
(Source: Volkswagen Group)

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the Volkswagen Group has started to produce 3D-printed face shield holders. This effort is a part of a joint transnational initiative with Airbus and the 3D printing network “Mobility goes Additive”, consisting of about 250 companies.

The 3D-printed medical supplies developed by Airbus will be used in Spain and will be flown from Hamburg to Madrid by Airbus, next week. This cross-industrial initiative was launched in response to requests from the Spanish authorities, which will also distribute the products in the country. The aim is to make as many holders as possible by then. A conventional plastic foil will be inserted into the holders by third parties now being produced by Volkswagen. With these shields, the entire face will be covered by transparent protection.

Over 50 Volkswagen 3D printers currently produce medical safety equipment

Production has started both at the large 3D printing centers in Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt and at other plants of Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, MAN Truck & Bus, Porsche, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Components and Volkswagen Motorsport. In total, the group is now using more than 50 3D printers at its plants continuously adding additional printers for this project.

Gerd Walker, Head of Volkswagen Group Production, said: “Our team is already working at full speed to make these urgently needed parts as quickly as possible.”

The Volkswagen Group donates medical supplies worth €40+ million

Volkswagen work actively to bring relief to the strained public health system. The company has doneted several hundred thousand medical face masks for the German public health system.

Furthermore, the Volkswagen Group has decided to donate additional medical supplies such as face masks and protective clothing for medical centers and hospitals with a total value of about €40 million.

In a press release, Gero Corman, Head of Digital Innovation of the Volkswagen Group, said: “We coordinate specifications, material, printing software, and the deployment of human resources within the Group.”

As a global group, Volkswagen aim to provide support for the procurement of medical equipment and supplies by utilizing its international supplier and logistics network. The aid currently being provided for Spain is part of a joint initiative with Airbus, the 3D printing network “Mobility goes Additive”, which includes about 250 companies in addition to Volkswagen, and other partners.


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