PT Blog

3D Printing Helps Keep Production Going During the Coronavirus Crisis

Companies and governments are responding to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. However, unlike other technologies, 3D printing can eliminate potential supply chain disruption. Stephanie Hendrixson, senior editor at PT’s sister publication Additive Manufacturing, took its supplier directory that includes parts and tooling services and used this data to create a public Google Map that shows service providers across the United States. You can access the map here.

I checked in with Formlabs and Essentium to talk about the use of 3D printing during these uncharted times.

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No Major Production Cutbacks of Material or Downstream Products Yet

In view of the fast-paced life changes/disruptions taking place across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly starting this week, I reached out to a handful of industry sources, including a custom injection molder; a leading molder of HDPE and LDPE caps and closures for the dairy and water bottle market sectors; a major thermoformer; a compounder of engineering thermoplastics; and resin-pricing consultants. These initial responses to whether production—ranging from materials to downstream plastics products—is being scaled back appear to show the opposite. This is particularly the case in the major packaging market sector ranging from film wrap to food packaging to healthcare packaging. Due to the fluidity of the situation we are all in, these sources preferred to stay anonymous.


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SPE Schedules First-Ever 'Virtual' ANTEC

The Society of the Plastics Engineers has scheduled the first-ever "virtual" ANTEC, necessitated by the association's cancellation of this year's event due to concerns over the Coronavirus.


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Extrusion 2020: Call for Papers Extended

While all of us at Plastics Technology and parent company Gardner Business Media are monitoring the situation with the Coronavirus and adhering to all government advisories, the Extrusion 2020 Conference is still scheduled to take place Oct. 13-15 in Rosemont, Ill.

We have extended the Call for Papers deadline to March 27. You can click on this link to begin the paper-submission process. 

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WSJ Calls for Reversal of Plastic-Bag Bans

The Editorial Board of the venerable Wall Street Journal on Tuesday called for a reversal of New York state’s March 1 ban on plastic bags. Citing “terrible timing” on the part of environmentalists—since March 1 also was the day New York confirmed its first case of coronavirus—the opinion piece called on “officials in the Empire State and elsewhere (to) immediately suspend their plastic bag bans” to protect the public.

In the words of the WSJ Editorial Board, “Reusable shopping bags may harbor the virus and could facilitate its spread in grocery stores and pharmacies that remain open even as workplaces, schools and restaurants shutter. Yet in California, New York, Seattle and elsewhere, plastic bags are banned and shoppers are urged to rely on reusable bags.”

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