Category Archives: Featured News

Smith College Wins CoVent-19 Challenge

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN & BOSTON, MA, July 2, 2020 – On April 1, a dozen anesthesiology resident physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital kicked off an audacious public challenge to design a rapidly deployable, minimum viable ventilator that could address shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in developing countries. Just three months and more than 200 submissions later, a team of engineering alumnae, staff and faculty from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., had taken a winning design from concept through working prototype. The next step could be a final product for regulatory approval in Nigeria, just one of the countries that have been talking with the CoVent-19 Challenge organizers.

The winning SmithVent design from a team of engineering alumnae, staff and faculty from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. (Photo: Business Wire)

The 30-person Smith College team collaborated on a simplified, cost-effective, easily manufactured pneumatic design particularly tailored to COVID-19 patient needs. The SmithVent design, which is one-tenth the cost of traditional ventilators, combines economical proportional solenoid valve technology with an air-oxygen mixing chamber to meet the full set of requirements for COVID-19 ventilation. The team relied primarily on readily available, off-the-shelf components, which reduced custom machining and improved compatibility with other medical equipment. The enclosure, ISO fittings, and mounting blocks can be produced using FDM or stereolithography 3D printers. The design is open source for anyone to use and improve.

InVent Pneumatic Ventilator prototype parts from a Stratasys J850 3D printer. (Photo: Business Wire)

Smith College Engineering Professor Susannah Howe said the timeline was intense. “To a person, we came into this not knowing anything about ventilators,” she said. “In two months we went from knowing nothing to having a functional prototype. That’s just crazy. To see that trajectory in such a short period of time, with people who are volunteering their time on top of their other jobs is amazing and heartwarming and so rewarding.”

Two other teams were also recognized by the CoVent-19 Challenge judges. The second-place InVent Pneumatic Ventilator was submitted by a San Francisco-based team comprised of fuseproject, a design and innovation firm founded by Swiss designer Yves Behar, and Cionic, a medical device technology start-up. The InVent prototype is a pneumatically driven ventilator optimized for a COVID-19 healthcare context that can be assembled in under four hours. The prototype used 3D printing technology from Stratasys, and featured a simple and intuitive human-machine interface and custom rapid-manufactured venturi flow sensors. A multi-ventilator tablet display encourages patient distancing.

The third-place prototype, RespiraWorks, was developed by a global team of dozens of engineers, healthcare workers, and other professionals that bring a focus on developing countries and low-resource communities. The model uses a sophisticated blower-based ventilation system, simplified assembly and manufacturing, and high-quality, open-source software. Parts are designed to be available from local supply chains around the world. “Patients suffering from COVID-19 require and deserve high-quality ventilation, regardless of whether they were born in a rich country or a poor one,” said RespiraWorks founder and executive director Ethan Chaleff of Oakland, Calif.

Dr. Richard Boyer, founder and director of the CoVent-19 Challenge, said when they began planning in March, it was unclear if there would be enough ventilators even in the United States to treat pandemic patients. “Our focus has since shifted to developing countries, where we’re seeing high death rates and limited resources to deal with the ravages of this new disease,” he said. “The test bed we developed gives us a lot of confidence in the performance of the winning prototype, and frankly there is probably tremendous value in getting other finalist designs out into the world too.”

Seven finalist prototypes were evaluated using a test bed to determine which design provides the best combination performance against safety, reliability, manufacturability, affordability, and simplicity.

The three winners will receive a total of $10,000 in credits for 3D printing from Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS), which also provided access to free 3D printing and a team of three application engineers for the seven finalist teams building their working prototypes. In addition, the challenge was hosted on the Stratasys GrabCAD community. Other sponsors include XimedicaValispaceHackFund, and Yelling Mule.

About Stratasys

Stratasys is a global leader in additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology and is the manufacturer of FDM, PolyJet Technology, and stereolithography 3D printers. The company’s technologies are used to create prototypes, manufacturing tools, and production parts for industries, including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, consumer products and education. For more than 30 years, Stratasys products have helped manufacturers reduce product-development time, cost, and time-to-market, as well as reduce or eliminate tooling costs and improve product quality. The Stratasys 3D printing ecosystem of solutions and expertise includes 3D printers, materials, software, expert services, and on-demand parts production.

To learn more about Stratasys, visit

Andela Expands Remote Engineering across Africa

NEW YORK, NY, July 2, 2020 – Andela, the global talent network that helps companies build remote engineering teams, will now accept engineers from all African countries, expanding its presence from six countries to the entire continent. In doing so, the company will double its existing talent pool to more than 500,000 engineers and significantly increase the variety of skills and experience levels available to companies all over the world.

Andela helps its customers, which include CloudflareWellioViacomCBS, and Women Who Code, gain access to high-quality software engineers who work as long-term, embedded team members. Today’s news will further enable companies that work with Andela to source the talent they need, when they need it, by providing access to additional talent pools across the continent with an even greater diversity of skills and backgrounds.

Jeremy Johnson, Andela co-founder and CEO says, “Over the past five years, we have become experts at identifying engineering excellence from nontraditional backgrounds. We know that there are extremely talented engineers across Africa and we believe that opportunity should not be limited by proximity to a major tech hub. Being a remote-first engineering organization allows us to open up access to Andela for engineers across the continent.”

“By removing restrictions on location, we will double our pool of potential talent to the roughly 500,000 engineers in Africa who can now leverage Andela to work with top international engineering teams. Ultimately, our goal is to break down the barriers that prevent talent and opportunity from connecting by providing an easier, more efficient way for companies to scale global engineering teams.”

In the US, despite the economic downturn, high growth companies continue to need more engineering talent, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are more open than ever to that talent being remote. Johnson concludes, “The world is beginning to realize that remote work is going to be a major catalyst for the democratization of opportunity. Luckily, engineering leaders already know that remote work works if you have the right processes and systems in place, and they are at the forefront of this change. By doubling our talent pool, we’re proud to help accelerate their critical work of building the future.”

About Andela

Andela is an engineering-as-a-service business that helps companies build remote teams quickly and cost-effectively. They have 1,000+ software engineers working as full-time, embedded members of development teams at over 200 leading tech companies.

Andela is headquartered in New York, and has a globally distributed team. They are backed by investors including Spark Capital, Generation Investment Management, Serena Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Education, and Omidyar Network.

Origin Updated CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS

TORONTO, Canada, July 2, 2020 – Origin’s new CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS release includes a number of features wanted by aerospace, defense, automotive and machinery customers looking for lean manufacturing and digital thread solutions.

Here are some examples:

Lean Manufacturing – Critical features needed to align parts on inspection features were impossible to measure repeatedly. The new release of CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS turns these features into virtual features. They can be measured with precision every time and measurement results can be used in GD&T analysis.  This is critical for manufacturing engineers as they set up to manufacture assemblies made from stamping, machining and welding.

Digital Thread – Instead of plowing through numeric print outs – with this newest version – Origin CheckMate users will see In-Out tolerance conditions of geometry at a glance. The enhancement of CheckMate’s digital twin will enable it to display geometry condition as face colors on part models. Green shows good, red and blue show high or low. CheckMate also provides users with the same ability to use all MBD in the same automated programming workflow at the same time whether the source was DimXpert from SOLIDWORKS or annotations from NX, ProE, CATIA.

“While inspection has long been an afterthought, it’s become a core tool of manufacturing engineers,” said Murray Desnoyer, founder of Origin International. “In smart manufacturing and the digital thread, inspection is no longer a data archiving function. CheckMate’s ability to analyze the GD&T of inspection data in SOLIDWORKS gives manufacturing engineers a tool for machine utilization and throughput that they need and have never had.”

For a full profile of the features in the latest release of Origin’s CheckMate for SOLIDWORKS please visit the Origin website.

About Origin International Inc.

Since Origin’s founding in 1992 they have maintained a clear focus on dimensional metrology. Regardless of CAD source data, or dimensional measurement equipment (DME), be they CMM, articulating arms, laser trackers, laser scanners or photogrammetry equipment, Origin customers know they can rely on CheckMate to maximize their multi-million dollar investments in design and metrology hardware and software.

For more information on our company and products, please visit