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Baker Hughes Retasks 3D Printers To Make Anti-Coronavirus Gear

Baker Hughes/Houston Chronicle

Houston oilfield service company Baker Hughes is joining the ranks of manufacturers using spare or idled 3D printers to make protective gear to for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tens of thousands of Baker Hughes employees around the world are working from home to reduce their risk of exposure to the highly contagious disease while 3D printers in Houston, Oklahoma City, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia have been retasked to make the gear.

The printers, which can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week with almost no supervision, have made more than 25,000 individual parts to date for drilling operations and oil production, said Mikhail Gladkikh, the company's Global Leader of Additive Services. They were easily reprogrammed, however, to make up to 40 face-shield brackets a day, for example, different products, pre-designed parts for face shields and other protective gear.

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