Company seeks to manufacture more 3D printed medical devices in Saint-Louis
Glia Inc. has set up a workshop in the south of Saint-Louis, with the aim of stimulating the production of 3D printed stethoscopes
ST. LOUIS – Canadian medical device maker Glia Inc. has set up a workshop in southern St. Louis, with the goal of boosting production of stethoscopes, tourniquets and possibly other 3D printed supplies.
The company partnered with the non-profit St. Louis Foundation Fabricatorz to open the branch, at 2623 Cherokee St., located in the workshop of Well Made, a prototyping manufacturing studio run by Kevin Kelly which helps in the efforts.
Jon phillips runs Operation Glia, which opened in May and now has two other employees, both production assistants.
The idea, he said, is to cost-effectively produce medical devices using a 3D printer made by Prusa Research in the Czech Republic. The St. Louis operation now has 10 of the machines, called I3s, which cost about $ 1,000, Phillips said, with funding from Glia.
He said that by using them, Glia can make his stethoscope, which contains a thermoplastic polymer, in about three hours. They sell for $ 25. Fifty have been produced in St. Louis so far, Phillips said.
The company, founded in 2015 by Dr. Tarek Loubani, targets medical students, who Phillips says often start their studies with a new stethoscope, perhaps purchased by a parent.
He said Glia hopes to have a younger, more agile customer base than competitors like 3M, the behemoth in space.
“Direct-to-consumer selling has increased during the pandemic as a way for a business, including manufacturers, to do both the sales transaction and the delivery of the products that have been sold,” Phillips said. “The tools and the market are easy to access and configure.”
Phillips said he would seek to strengthen the company’s social media presence in the United States.
He is also working to raise up to $ 1 million to provide 20,000 tourniquets in Gaza, where war broke out last month between Israel and Hamas. Glia says he’s partnering with Gaza-based company Tashkeel 3D on the project. He saw his lab flattened in the last conflict, according to an Aljazeera report.
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