Superfeet Worldwide Inc. has committed its 3D-printing technology toward the fight to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, Superfeet and sister company Flowbuilt Manufacturing announced they would begin modifying the capacity of their fleet of HP MultiJet Fusion printers to help produce life-saving medical equipment and supplies as demand spikes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. healthcare system was already overextended before the crisis, the company said, and it was time for its production facility to open its doors to help stop the spread.
“Harnessing the company’s ability to quickly produce custom insoles for customers, Superfeet is now channeling that power to fight the spread of COVID-19,” Superfeet said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Superfeet said it had successfully mobilized its product development and operations department to produce 30,000 PPE masks at its 3D-printing and manufacturing facilities in Ferndale, Wash. The company intends to distribute them to medical organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
“We started conversations with local hospitals and healthcare workers last week and discovered a massive need for PPE, as demand has skyrocketed over the past few weeks,” John Rauvola, CEO and president at Superfeet, said. “You can feel the pride our team of employee-owners takes in being able to create something tangible to help combat this pandemic and better protect our community’s first line of defense.”
Flowbuilt Manufacturing is the only U.S.-based full-service manufacturing facility, according to the firm, and has made its name offering mass-customized footwear and insoles using a proprietary “multi-section injection technology.” Superfeet opened the facility in 2018 with Brooks Running Company serving as its first client.
According to Superfeet, Flowbuilt’s facility features cutting-edge 3D printers and machinery that can switch between producing a single pair of custom shoes to manufacturing thousands of the same product.
Another Washington-based aerospace furnishing company, Pioneer Aerofab, has also joined onto the project, applying its expertise to the production of the masks’ hooded component.
“It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of COVID-19 and its effect on our daily lives and those around the world,” Tim Williamson, Pioneer Aerofab’s owner and CEO, said. “Looking at how you can make an impact on a local level is the best place to start. That’s precisely what we did when we heard about Superfeet’s plan.”
Superfeet has requested that anyone seeking medical supplies contact the company through a dedicated email address, email@example.com, to determine if it will be able to assist.