During the corona crisis, masses of medical equipment were needed in a very short time. However, the necessary supply chains were interrupted, and additional production capacities were urgently required.

As often stated in the media, one possible solution to this problem is Additive Manufacturing (for example, 3D printing). The distributed, additive production of the necessary parts has a high potential to overcome these shortages. However, this results in another major problem: the intellectual property of design holders is not protected. Manufacturing companies regularly commit infringements of intellectual property rights.

Fabblink offers a solution to this problem. It is a platform that connects all stakeholders of the additive manufacturing value chain (design holders, 3D printing companies, healthcare companies, spare part manufacturers, and filament producers) to enable reliable and safe distributed automated manufacturing.

Three promising technology trends are combined in one platform: Blockchain, 3D printing, and Manufacturing-as-a-Service. Designers get unique secure 3D data copyright and smart contracts communicate directly with 3D printers. Thereby, the authenticity of the printed product can be verified with one click.

This solves a problem that will continue to exist beyond the pandemic. In a world after corona, supply chains are designed to be more robust. Connecting all stakeholders in additive distributed manufacturing with full transparency and accountability is a key issue in this context.

Fabblink (previously names 3D ID) appeared not too long after Europe went on quarantine and was further developed during the EUvsVirus Hackathon, in which more than 21.000 people across national borders worked on solutions to fight the global crisis. Currently, the team behind this idea is working on a prototype. We are looking for partners who are curious about our solution and would like to support the team in turning this idea into reality. At the moment we are especially interested in initial users for the joint development and optimization of the platform as well as in investors.

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