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West Michigan man using 3D printer to create safety equipment for Ukraine

Ukrainian and U.S. flags fly in Kyiv, Ukraine.
REUTERS
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West Michigan man using 3D printer to create safety equipment for Ukraine

Charles Elwood is part of a global movement, using 3D printers to create tourniquets, an often life-saving device used to apply pressure to a limb or extremity to stop blood flow. They will be assembled in Denmark and sent to Ukraine.

Local ways to aid Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion into the country have sprouted up across industries, from Airbnb cash transfers to donating food and thermal blankets. West Michigan man, Charles Elwood with SolisMatica BI, is doing his part to help through technology, using 3D printing to get safety equipment to Ukrainians.

“Three weeks ago I saw there was an effort in Denmark, it originated out of Sweden, to 3D print tourniquet parts to send to Denmark to then get into Ukraine," Elwood explained.

A tourniquet is a device, used to apply pressure to a limb or extremity to stop the blood flow. It can prove life-saving in emergencies. Elwood said he’s printing three key components: the buckle, clip and tension rod. The materials will get sent to Denmark where the tourniquet will be fully assembled and sent to Ukraine.

This isn't the first time Elwood has fired up his printer to offer assistance. During the earlier waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, he put out a call to individuals with 3D printers, asking them to create much needed PPE. Elwood explained, many of the same individuals have now pulled their printers back out of the closet to aid Ukraine, citing around 70 local printers taking part in the international effort.

“I have messages from local 3D people who are participating who said they have relatives in Ukraine in harms way and are so grateful for the chance to participate," Elwood said. "...My 10 year old participates on the weekend, so its’ a full effort by so many people and it’s so heartwarming.”

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