Open-Source and Low Cost Ventilator COVID-19

NanoVentex CUBE - Universal Open-Source Low Cost Ventilator

1. Project Overview

 The NanoVentex Cube is a low cost, emergency hospital ventilator. It is primarily designed to be manufactured by a 3D printer but has also the potential of immediate evolution to plastic injection by low or high scale manufacturing. All mechanical and electrical components as well as software design were elaborated from open-source platforms making it easy to share and distribute. The NanoVentex CUBE has a permanent focus on meeting the reliability and functionality requirements demanded by medical protocols.
The equipment is conceived to meet the demand created by the profile of the patients with acute pneumonia contaminated by COVID-19, with a target cost of final production to be $900 or less, but still meeting all medical reliability standards, such as recursive failure, without which patients already weakened by the virus can come to death.

The product development methodology aims to achieve the maximum acceleration in the elaboration of the basic project, the continuous incremental improvement and the complete democratization of access to this vital product, avoiding the often difficult, high cost and inefficient processes of larger organizations, both for and non-profit ones.

Additionally, to the extent that all details of the project are 100% public, through the collaboration platform, the manufacturing of the units can be immediately started anywhere in the world by any institution, government company, or even by a residential manufacturing (DIY). The open collaboration will also allow the rapid spread of streams of improvement,  evolution of  production flow ,  functionality and manufacturing efficiency , further reducing costs.

This is a not for profit project and it has been coordinated by an American technology company, MN Smart Products in Minnesota, in collaboration with a Brazilian electromechanical equipment industry, Kohl Equipment do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro. An extremely timely partnership considering that both countries will be strongly affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic in the coming months, mainly due to the size of their population, the demographic density of their cities and the territorial extension.

The NanoVentex Cube can have even greater humanitarian repercussions for the second wave of contamination that will begin to happen in a few weeks, specially in very poor and/or populous countries such as those located in South America, Central America, Africa and Asia, for instance, India, Colombia or Nigeria.

Due to intense demand, the price of hospital ventilator that were already high, from $13,000 to $20,000, are now been marketed for up to $ 40,000, which makes it impossible to acquire them on a scale by countries with fewer resources. In addition to that, ventilation equipment had undergone so many technological and functional evolution over the years, that there will be a giant crisis in the maintenance and repair of these more sophisticated devices. Top that with the restriction countries are imposing on exporting and overseas selling and the humanitarian crisis will be even more acute.

NanoVentex project is the humanitarian and democratic consolidation of knowledge delivered when the world is experiencing one of its greatest tragedies in history and need anything but another proprietary technology. It is a technological legacy that both participating companies will leave for a long time after the end of this crisis. A model to be followed for other similar demands regarding many other medical and hospital equipment and solutions.

2. An Important Criticism of the Current Predominant Model and Opportunists

There are now hundreds of companies in the world applying to receive funds from government, private funds and even donations, many times based in diffuse and uncertain private projects, taking advantage of people's panic and good faith.

Virtually everyone has the same discourse that mixes philanthropy and knowledge in some necessary areas. However, none of these companies or non-profit institutions is proposing to open the completely development process for criticism, improvement and high-level technical monitoring by any interested party. Most are limited to presenting generic reports or showing quite basic prototypes.

It happens that very few of these proposing companies have a proven background in the necessary areas of development. When they do, they are not interested in disclosing their projects to be rapidly improved, revised and than used by thousands of other companies in the world or even individual engineers to manufacture affordable equipment.

Big players are making a lot of smoke promising development and manufacturing of hundreds of thousands of units in a record time, even when most specialist agree and converge that few companies can develop the necessary supply chain and production line that also meets the required quality control for this type of equipment in less than 3 to 6 months.

For instance, In the second week of March, a single  American consortium, formed by a well-known automobile company and a traditional hospital ventilator manufacturer, was on the verge of receiving all US government funds  of about US $ 1 billion, to produce 80,000 pieces of equipment at very high cost of more than $ 12,000 for each equipment.

On the other hand, almost homemade unknown initiatives have generated enough  noise to  capture sizable moneys in donations as if it were possible to execute equipment without a minimum of reliability that delivers pressure, volume, alarm sensing, among many other details and needed to operate more than 43,000 times a day.

3. The Management strategy

The initial management team coordinating the project is composed of 8 engineers, Master of Science, and PhD, with over 30 years of experience in hospital, laboratory, pneumatic and control equipment.

This team has already delineated approximately 55% of the basic project, mainly regarding critical items such as hospital compressors, electric control valves, PCB (printed circuits board) and general design which will be the kickoff to engage perhaps hundreds of extremely experienced engineers, from several countries in the world such as India, United States, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Norway, England, Canada and many others.

The first milestone for the collaborative evolution of the project is 30 days after the necessary budget is available, when the data will be consolidated into a complete project and available in another 15 days. Thereafter, a rapid prototyping cycle would begin while companies and institutions around the world will have the full access of project package and various guidelines to be reviewed and so start the production and assembling.

The first milestone for the collaborative evolution of the project is 30 days after the necessary budget is available, when all data will be consolidated into a complete project and available in another 15 days. Thereafter, a rapid prototyping cycle will begin while companies and institutions around the world will have the full access of project package and various guidelines to be reviewed and even eventually improved, and then they were able to start manufacturing their own test prototypes and prepare their production line.

The funds raised will be used to:

- Elaboration of prototypes such as machined parts, 3D printing, stamps, etc.
- Manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCB).
- Acquisition of commercial components (compressor pumps, processors, valves, tubes, screws, connections, knobs, etc).
- Development and maintenance of the online collaborative platform (web-site).
- Temporary maintenance of non-technical professionals (e.g. administrative assistants).
- IT and associated costs as web-site maintenance, dedicated phone lines etc.
- Data-sheets, samples, manuals etc.
-  Outsourced technical services.
- Miscellaneous expenses (insurance, courier, travel expenses etc)


  • Lucas Silva 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Andre Cataldo 
    • $15 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 3 mos
  • Fernando Buarque 
    • $15 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 3 mos


Fernando Buarque 
Newport, MN
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