During the month of February 2020 the Chinese construction 3D printing company WinSun (Yingchuang), thanks to cooperative arrangements with a host of factories located in Shanghai, Suzhou, Zhangjiagang and Heze deployed its technology to help in containing and fighting the coronavirus outbreak in Hubei province providing more than 200 3d printed quarantine wards. According to Winsun, the first batch of 15 portable wards were donated and installed at the Xianning Central Hospital in just two days.
Quarantine wards measure 10 square meters, have a height of 2.8 meters and can accommodate two beds. Every unit also comes with a separate toilet compartment. The structure is made of recycled industrial residue and construction materials that have passed the environmental impact assessment. It has been designed to withstand extreme environments including strong winds and even earthquakes. Winsun currently has 20 printing machines and according to the company, under normal circumstances, a 10-㎡ isolation ward can be 3D printed within 2 hours by just one 3D printer. A whole 3D printed ward with all supporting facilities for water, electricity and bathroom, can be delivered in 2 to 3 days.
The rooms are created using concrete and recycled solid waste and have passed the environmental impact assessment. The wards, after adopting a shell structure, meet required standards for heat preservation and isolation. The completed units, each of which has a base cost of about 28,000 yuan (approx. €3,600), meet isolation standards also against extreme temperatures.
One of the biggest benefits of these 3D printed structures during this pandemic has been their mobility. The wards are mobile and easy to set up and can be instantly run on power supply. Interestingly, it seems the 3D printed isolation wards have been sent to hospitals through a sort of subscription plan, where customers or interested parties could pay to have a concrete house shipped to a particular region. In fact the 3D printed structures deployed were not originally designed as isolation wards.
WinSun adapted a design for an existing mobile home originally destined for tourism, but it turned out that the compact structure could also be useful for temporary housing. WinSun has reached out to a number of national and corporate social groups to support its initiative and is looking for resources to complete its units, such as solar panels, doors and windows, electrical appliances and more.