Ventilator Challenge – Part 2

Some more thoughts on the before-mentioned Ventilator Challenge:

As mentioned in the first part, I am not a medical professional, and everything I say here is my shot-from-the-hip opinion and should not be taken as fact or good practice.

The specifications of the Codelife Ventilator Challenge are a bit thin. There is a longer, well done specification for an emergency-type ventilator from the UK government.

If we look at the history of ventilators, most of them seem to have volumetric pumps as pressure sources, often a kind of bellows that moves with the same frequency as the lungs of the patient. Accordingly, there are some designs of emergency ventilator concepts (example) that use bag valve masks and add a motor-driven mechanism to push on the bag – and therefore air in the patient’s lungs.

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Medical Ventilator Challenge

One of my friends sent me the link to this, knowing that I recently got into “functional” 3D printing. I’d like to share some first thoughts on the Code Life Ventilator Challenge:

To design a low-cost, simple, easy-to-use and easy-to-build ventilator that can serve the COVID patients, in an emergency timeframe.

Note that I am not a medical professional, and most of what I write here I just learned about myself. The rest is speculation.


Initially I was confused because the German word for fan is Ventilator. It turns out a medical ventilator has (almost) nothing in common with the thing you use to cool you down on hot days.The list of requirements is short, but packs quite a punch. There is a reference to ISO 80601-2-12:2020, but it is not mentioned explicitly to comply with this norm.

So let’s start and build this thing…

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