DE Video News Roundup: Update on CoVent 19 Ventilator Design Challenge, 3D Print and Scan in Medieval Church Restoration, More

Ventilator Design Challenge Enters Phase II, 3D Print and Scan Help Restore Florence Baptistery Cathedral Door, More

In Video News Roundup for May 29, 2020, the Covent-19 ventilator design challenge enters phase II, 3D printing and scanning firm Prototek helps restore Florence Baptistery cathedral door, Autodesk Fusion 360 adds 3D printing tools, 3D Heals virtual conference set for June

CoVent 19, the design challenge to develop easy-to-produce ventilators, enters Phase Two with select finalists.

CoVent 19 Design Challenge Enters Phase II

CoVent 19, the ventilator design challenge supported by Stratasys and hosted on GrabCAD community, is now entering Phase II. The seven finalists selected will be busy building affordable, easily deployable ventilators.

It launched in April, soon after news broke that hospitals were facing a ventilator shortage. A total of 213 entries came in, with engineering drawings and 3D models from different countries.

The hashtag for the challenge is #innovatetoventilate (Innovate to Ventilate). While commercial ventilator vendors and some automakers are now joining the race to produce ventilators, those destined for the commercial market for ICU usage will likely cost between $25,000-$50,000 a unit, according to Medtronic.

The aim of CoVent 19, by contrast, is to produce units that can be built for around $2,000 to $3,000, so even long after the crisis, they could remain a design resource for other developing countries or underfunded hospitals.

Baptistery of Florence Restored Doors with 3D Scanning and Printing

Recently the 680-year-old eight-ton bronze doors of the Cathedral of Florence’s Baptistery got a modern upgrade, with the help of 3D printing.

Originally installed in 1329, some parts of the doors have endured weather for years, evident in the dent and damages on the surfaces of the sculptures. The Italian firm Prototek was the one to get the preservation assignment, to help replace the original door with a replica.

The tool chosen for the job was the Artec Spider handheld 3D scanner. Prototek used it to scan and capture the original, then fix the damaged surfaces digitally in software to produce a 3D-printable replica without the damage. The 28 panels from the southern doors were scanned one by one and reproduced in 3D printing.

The plan was not to install a 3D-printed door as the replacement, but rather, to use the 3D-printed model as guide to create mold to recast bronze replicas. The fine details were then chiseled back into the cast models to match the original.

The restoration began in 2016 and lasted 3 years. The new doors were unveiled on June 24, 2019, the feast day of Florence’s patron saint John the Baptist.

The doors stood through one of the darkest chapters in Europe—the Black Death, or the plague of 1348. Now, they’re also set to live through COVID 19.

Italian firm Prototek uses Artec Spider handheld scanner to scan the doors of Florence's Baptistery Church for restoration. Image courtesy of Prototek/Artec 3D.

Autodesk Fusion 360 with 3D Printing Tools

Fusion 360, Autodesk’s integrated CAD/CAM and simulation suite, is upgraded with 3D printing printing features. You can load the printable digital file, select printer, simulate the print operation, and then print right from the Fusion environment. It's part of the March 2020 update to the software.

3D Heals Set for June

3D Heals, the conference that showcases the use of additive manufacturing in healthcare, has been running regular panel discussions on Zoom, focusing on the use of 3D printing to produce PPE.

The next major event, 3D Heals 2020, will be fully virtual. It promises 65 speakers, 4 workshops, with startup pitch and job search sessions. Tickets are $100 per person, at Eventbrite.

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Kenneth Wong

Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. Email him at [email protected] or share your thoughts on this article at

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