UPDATE 03/25/2020: yesterday, ford, 3M and GE healthcare announced their partnership to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus. the motor company is working with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of their powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designs and working jointly to develop a new design leveraging parts from both companies to meet the surge demand for first responders and health care workers.


in addition, ford and GE healthcare are working together to expand production of a simplified version of its existing ventilator design. last, the company is also planning to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week and leverage its in-house 3D printing capability to produce components for use in personal protective equipment.

ford partners with 3M to produce respirators as coronavirus spread creates shortageimages courtesy of ford unless stated otherwise



‘working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,’ said jim hackett, ford’s president and CEO. ‘we’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs. we are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus.’

ford partners with 3M to produce respirators as coronavirus spread creates shortagemedical equipment production at ford



‘we’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get healthcare supplies as quickly as possible to where they’re needed most – which includes partnering with other great companies like ford,’ said mike roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer. ‘it’s crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease, and I’m incredibly grateful to ford and their employees for this partnership.’


‘3M is providing vital personal protective equipment for medical workers and we’ve empowered our engineers and designers to move as quickly as possible to help 3M grow PAPR production using common parts to speed this up. we are also volunteering our facilities for additional production,’ adds jim hackett.

ford partners with 3M to produce respirators as coronavirus spread creates shortagedave jacek, 3D printing technical, wears a prototype of a 3d-printed medical face shield printed at ford’s advanced manufacturing center



several automakers have offered to help tackle medical device shortages due to coronavirus by manufacturing ventilators in the US. GM, tesla and ford were among those who offered help in the US in a bid to help alleviate the pressure put on hospitals.


last wednesday afternoon, GM CEO mary barra offered to use empty factory space in a ‘WWII-style mobilization’ to produce ventilators for hospitals that need them. ford also offered their help with its chief communications officer, mark truby, stating: ‘as america’s largest producer of vehicles and top employer of autoworkers, ford stands ready to help the administration in any way we can, including the possibility of producing ventilators and other equipment.’


‘we have had preliminary discussions with the US and UK governments and are looking into the feasibility. it’s vital that we all pull together to help the country weather this crisis and come out the other side stronger than ever.’ford partners with 3M to produce respirators as coronavirus spread creates shortagefiltration system design




tesla and spacex founder elon musk also said on twitter that his factories will be repurposed to produce ventilators if there is a shortage due to the coronavirus outbreak. in response, fivethirtyeight editor in chief nate silver said that there is a shortage right now.


‘tesla makes cars with sophisticated HVAC systems,’ musk said in a follow-up tweet. ‘spacex makes spacecraft with life support systems. ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly. which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?’


people began pointing out the problems faced in italy where doctors have reported exactly such shortages. yesterday, we reported that a team of of engineers and fabricators had urgently 3D-printed 100 respirator valves after a shortage of medical equipment in northern italy because of the coronavirus.ford partners with 3M to produce respirators as coronavirus spread creates shortagedisposable hood sketchford 3Mdisposable hood designitalian engineers and fabricators volunteer to rapidly 3D-print respirator valvesimage courtesy of cristian fracassi