There are too many stories out there right now about people hoarding toilet paper or buying all of the purell in three states and then trying to sell it on Amazon for a huge mark-up. Thankfully, we’re also starting to hear stories about some of the good that people are doing. There has been a rash of stories about people volunteering to do grocery shopping for the elderly and immunocompromised, and now we have this great story from Italy.

The 3D Printing Media Network is reporting that a hospital in Italy had run out of a crucial valve for a reanimation device and the supply chain was disrupted due to the events surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. With no way to get new valves from any vendors, a group of makers stepped in to save the day.

Led by Massimo Temporelli, found of The Fablab in Milan, was able to reach out to all of the area companies that used 3D printers. This led to Isinnova CEO, Cristian Fracassi bringing 3D printers directly to the hospital. Within hours, new valves were being printed out and put into immediate use for the hospital patients in need. By the next day, 10 patients were being kept alive by devices that used the new valves.

This story is not only heartwarming, but it is a turning point for society on several levels. If you are a maker, or you own a 3D printer, there is potentially a new way that you can help out the people around you in a time of crisis. You can actually make some of the important items that get held up in supply chain disruptions. Meanwhile, manufacturers of these devices have got to look at situations like this and get a little nervous. As 3D printing becomes better and more affordable, we are looking at a future where many of of the things that people order can now be made to order at the touch of a button.