Caracol’s 3D Printing innovation at the service of those fighting COVID-19

Caracol’s 3D Printing innovation at the service of those fighting COVID-19
When the COVID-19 crisis hit our country, I was at Columbia Business School in New York City, only a few months away from my MBA graduation. Suddenly, I found myself packing and leaving all the people who had made my last year and a half special.

It took me a short time to realize that, despite sadness, being in good health with my family safe and sound, it was time to react and do my best to contribute in a time of great uncertainty and difficulty.

I turned to my amazing team at Caracol - the additive manufacturing start-up, launched in 2018, that pushes the limits of manufacturing and innovation. As we always inspire and bring out the best of each other, we understood the potential extent of our industry’s contribution and started brainstorming on how we could provide support to our community.

After long hours of discussion, we came up with an idea: design and produce 3D Printing reusable protective masks with disposable filters.

Caracol 3D printed mask
In a time when people all over the world are fighting the virus without proper gear, countries are nationalizing medical equipment production and blocking exports, we decided to push our business to support global efforts during the pandemic as much as we could.

In a week, we produced more than 100 mask prototypes, we identified a set of potential partners to supply proper filters, and worked hard to come up with a device that could be an effective and sustainable solution to provide protection. We then tested the device with a team of over 20 doctors, policemen, civil protection operators and private firms to fine-tune and adjust the design to their diverse needs.

At the beginning, it felt like we were transforming our core, leveraging innovative and creative solutions to respond to this specific problem. Soon enough I realized that this project grew naturally from the DNA of our company, and both the efforts of the team and my realization of the impact we could make, made me proud and aware of the scope of our project in response to a global crisis.

This project grew naturally from the DNA of our company.

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