Erebus Motorsport and Konica Minolta have joined resources as the urgency for lifesaving equipment in the fight against COVID-19 ramps up.

Konica Minolta, a leading supplier of 3D printing equipment services, are one of many who have stepped up to support Erebus on the development and manufacture of essential adaptors for the e-mask, a potentially life-saving device for front-line health workers.

“The urgency to produce as much Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) equipment for our health care workers has been at the forefront of our minds, especially as we work alongside Dr Carl Le who is one of those on the front line,” Erebus CEO Barry Ryan said.

“We began work on the e-mask a number of weeks ago after Mirko De Rosa, one of our engineers came to us with the idea.

“He was seeing and hearing first-hand what his extended family back home in Milan were experiencing. It was really personal.

“In Australia, in some ways we have the benefit of seeing what was and is happening around the world before the virus hit Australia and everything points to a likely shortage of personal protective equipment, so with Dr Carl’s guidance we identified what is most crucial and our partners like Konica Minolta have been more than willing to get in and make things happen.”

The P2/N95 filter is an essential part of the PPE that healthcare workers require. It filters the virus out of the air being breathed so the wearer breathes clean air. These cost-effective masks with a 3D-printed adaptor and easily replaceable filtration can be mass-produced and sent immediately to healthcare workers on the frontline.

Konica Minolta worked with Erebus Motorsport to print the initial filter adapters, which is printed using a 3D Systems Figure 4 3D printer.

“At this stage, no one knows exactly what the demand will look like as Australia continues to work hard to flatten the curve. However, it’s likely that a fast response will be required to save lives. By facilitating the capacity to 3D print these lifesaving components, Konica Minolta and our customers and partners are playing a small but important role in the fight against COVID-19,” Matt Hunter, innovation product manager, Konica Minolta, said.

“Having thoroughly tested the parts, we know they work. We’re now looking to see what other customers and partners we can pull into this project to increase capacity even further, and potentially find new ways to contribute.”