Low-Cost Opensource Mechanical Ventilator

UPDATE (April 25, 2020): We've changed the images from our scale-model prototype to the full-sized working version and added in a video link showing the ventilator in action.

April 17, 2020 | ProgressTH 

We've recently begun developing a low-cost opensource mechanical ventilator. We're using cheap and easily sourced electronic components including a locally-produced Arduino Uno-compatible microcontroller (Gravitech's Lambda board), high-torque servos used by hobbyists, and 3D printing to build our prototypes.


Our project is up on Thingiverse here. It includes some STL files for printing as well as a SketchUp 2017 file with all the parts, an assembled and labeled view, an exploded view, and the parts laid down for 3D printing. 

To add structural support to the design we're using 20mm PVC pipe easily sourced at any hardware store here in Thailand.

The ventilation itself is accomplished using a handheld resuscitation bag, with our prototype essentially automating the compression of the bag. Unlike a human hand, we can program our prototype to compress the bag at precise rates and for precise depths thus controlling both the rate at which air is delivered to a patient as well as the volume.

Background

The recent health scare has helped raise awareness of certain shortcomings regarding modern human healthcare.

Among these shortcomings is a lack of accessible and affordable essential medical equipment, particularly ventilators. 

Companies that make them keep their designs a secret and often overcharge customers for their use creating scarcity especially when they are needed most.

While there are many news stories circulating today of teams racing to build low-cost opensource mechanical ventilators, this idea isn't new nor is the necessity for a cheaper and more accessible mechanical ventilator something that just recently came up.

An MIT project described in a paper titled Design and Prototyping of a Low-cost Portable Mechanical Ventilator, is dated 2010 and specifically notes that shortages of mechanical ventilators aren't just a problem for people who can't afford them, but even in developed countries where emergencies (such as an outbreak, an accident, or natural disaster) create an influx of demand that can't be met because of the difficulty of buying additional mechanical ventilators that are complicated, expensive, and in short supply.

Into to 3D Printing Healthcare Solutions

June 16, 2019 | ProgressTH

Here is a video introduction to our ongoing Medical Maker Initiative (MMI) using 3D printing to develop healthcare solutions for local hospitals and healthcare institutions.


This project has been ongoing since 2015. We would really like to see this expand to more hospitals and healthcare institutions as well as see hospitals bring 3D printing in house with their own designers to further save time and costs. 

Follow ProgressTH.org on Instagram hereWe also put all of our 3D printed models online for free at Thingiverse.com here. 


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