Dubai, UAE, 22 March 2020: With the global spread of coronavirus (COVID – 19) and the rising need for sanitised environments, Immensa Technology Labs (Immensa), the UAE’s leading additive manufacturing company, in partnership with PRECISE 3DHUB, the exclusive GCC distributor of Copper3D antimicrobial filament, are developing products that will significantly reduce the rate of transmission of the virus using antimicrobial printing materials.
As Lothar Hohmann, President of PRECISE 3DHUB explains: “The biggest problem with the virus is the “transmission time” as the virus can survive more than 72 hours on a surface, which increases the chance of people being exposed to it. PLACTIVE® contains active copper nanoparticle that when in touch with a virus or bacteria, destroys the membrane and the nucleic acids, which makes it dysfunctional within a matter of minutes.“
Immensa engineers have successfully 3D-printed products that would help reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus, including covers and casings for frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as door handles, light switches, water faucets and taps, elevator buttons, shopping cart handles, handrail covers, toilet seats, flush buttons etc.
Fahmi Al Shawwa, CEO at Immensa, said: “The global spread of coronavirus is an unfortunate occurrence that has brought the world together in pursuit of preventative measures to maintain the well-being of all societies. At Immensa, we have dedicated ourselves to aligning with government initiatives and safety processes that prioritise the health of people in the UAE. Our engineers have 3D-printed covers for everyday items that are frequently used, utilising an antimicrobial material that will reduce the transmission of diseases. Our aim has always been to promote the status of the UAE as a leading hub for 3D printing; now we seek to position the Emirates at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus and other diseases of this nature.”
PLACTIVE® is an FDA Registered Material, certified ISO 10993 Biocompatible material, and EU compliant. It has been certified in laboratories in the US and Chile to deactivate 99.99 % of bacteria (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, Listeria, Pseudomona and others bacteria). Nanocopper has also strong scientific evidence that shows to inactivate SARS-Cov viruses in 5 minutes and Influenza (H1N1) in 30 seconds. PLACTIVE® is widely used for the manufacture of medical applications where it’s dangerous to have bacterial contamination, such as postoperative prostheses — clinically tested in prosthesis for amputees with excellent results — wound dressing, and surgical equipment. Also it’s been tested by NASA to manufacture antimicrobial medical devices on ISS. Immensa has been able to leverage the benefits of the material to develop tools to counter the effect of coronavirus transmission in the UAE.
Al Shawwa continued: “Immensa is also capable of adapting to any request, be it commercial, residential, or public in nature, and to cater to all sorts of needs, from as small as elevator buttons to public seats and public rails and handles.”
This new application for 3D printing will bring on a new field out of the UAE and will spur a whole-new range of customised items with antibacterial properties, a huge opportunity for, manufacturers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and physicians among others.
Hohmann continued: “With the development over the past month, everybody in the world now understands the need to take prevention to another level, which means that the new standard needs to be antimicrobial in order to drastically reduce transmission rates.”
As a UAE-based company, and in addition to being able to have an active role in reducing the transmission of this virus, Immensa and Precise will be using the material to produce and donate 3D printed masks in the UAE.