The Additive Manufacturing Community Responds to the Crisis in Ukraine

Published on March 1, 2022 by Madeleine P.

Last week, the fears of many came true when Russia invaded its close neighbor, Ukraine. Fighting has been constant and it has started a humanitarian crisis not just in Ukraine itself but in neighboring countries as well as an estimated 500,000 Ukrainians have fled to safety. Already we have seen a much harsher response from countries all around the world including the United States and un the European Union. Though no country has engaged in military action against Russia, except of course Ukraine, there have been severe financial sanctions including cutting Russia off of SWIFT, resulting in a plummeting Ruble (the Russian currency).

The crisis started in February 21st when Russia officially recognized two self-proclaimed states with the full-scale invasion beginning three days later. The conflict had been anticipated for a number of weeks as Russia had sent an increased military presence, up to 100,000 soldiers, to the border despite warnings from many World leaders. The death toll on both sides is growing as well, though given the nature of war, it is difficult to get an accurate estimate. Though peace talks have been announced, it is unsure what the future holds for Ukraine. And people around the globe have responded, including in the 3D printing sector.

A map of Ukraine showing the extent of the crisis with the red indicating Russian invasion, including Crimea at the bottom (photo credits: Rr016, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What has been the response of the AM Community to Ukraine?

Though unlike the COVID-19 crisis wherein the AM community could easily provide concrete solutions through the creation of PPE and the like, many 3D printing companies and personalities have started to step up to address the war in different ways. One of the first waves has been of course messages of support for the nation, coming from some of the biggest names in the industry. Avi Reichental, co-founder and CEO of Nexa3D, expressed his support for Ukrainians, sending his thoughts and prayers and calling on world leaders to respond to the crisis.

This sentiment has been echoed across the community. Including through Ilya Mirman, the Head of Marketing at Desktop Metal and Nora Toure, Chairwoman at Women in 3D Printing. Many have expressed their support as well as links to resources for those who are able to give, showing the unity of the 3D printing community against adversity. The CEO of TRUMPF, Nicola Leibinger, meanwhile sent a letter to employees not only condemning the actions of Russia but also noting that “The TRUMPF Managing Board decided over the weekend to organize an immediate donation for the people from Ukraine in need of help.”

Russian Companies and Ukrainian companies have also taken a stand. Anisoprint, which has Russian roots but is currently located in Luxembourg, made a statement promoting peace. The CEO, Fedor Antonov, who is Russian, also made a post to express his support and to emphasize the fact that many Russians are against the actions of the Russian government. A fact that can also be seen through the many protests taking place in cities like Moscow despite the risk of arrest for the participants.

Meanwhile, companies with Ukrainian employees including Hearables 3D and 3Dees Industries are seeking to help employees, especially those who are still looking to leave the capital. Ukrainian company Jazzros, also made a statement against Russia, calling on others in the World to act now to help Ukraine as it defends itself against an aggressor.

There have been even stricter actions. EOS for example followed Germany’s lead in taking a more aggressive stance against the conflict, following a pattern set by other large companies including BP, Volvo, Daimler Truck and more who have stopped business in Russia. Marie Langer, CEO of EOS, posted on LinkedIn expressing the decision of the company to stop all business with Russian customers except in the case of humanitarian or medical applications.The move is reminiscent of the actions of Germany as a whole, as the country has been one of those taking the most action in the war. Though slower to come to the decision than some of the other EU nations to agree to cut Russia off of SWIFT, the country has been steadily supplying arms and support to Ukraine in a sharp turnaround from the nation.

And companies were not the only ones either with a response. Academics have also heeded the call for aid. An Associate Professor at KU Leuven, Yiannis Pontikes, made a post on LinkedIn expressing that anyone in a Ukranian University currently doing research on a topic related to metallurgy or building materials could come to Belgium for a fully paid research visit. The professor also called on others to help in any way they could. This post was shared and liked by many in the AM community.

What More Can Be Done?

At this point, so much is still uncertain. But it is possible that we will see an even greater response from the AM community in the coming weeks. Already, we have heard that additive manufacturing might be being used by both Russia and the US for support when it comes to repairing old planes in preparation for conflict but there could be other ways that 3D printing could be used. Of course, the continued donations and calls for help will certainly have an impact and so will possible future economic measures from large AM companies, like through EOS. Additionally, given that supply chain breakdowns are expected during war, 3D printing could be used to help create parts and repairs as well as bring critical supplies to areas that may have lost contact with the international community at large. In any case, we certainly call on all who are able to help in the ways they can.

What response have you seen from the additive manufacturing community towards the current war in Ukraine? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedinFacebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

The 3 comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

  1. I left my country Poland in 1981 as the Russian warships showed up at the Bay of Gdansk. It took Poland ten years to dismantle Soviet Union system paving way for other Eastern European Countries including East Germany to become free and democratic.
    Back then the opinion was that communist Russia was the problem. Today we are facing capitalist Russia as an aggressor. It should be evident for all that the real problem is autocratic government. When one observes democracies with mini earthquakes every four years and electoral changes we can call it a messy system. Yet with all the weaknesses it is a self-correcting system. Authoritarian regimes can not self correct and ultimately create crises of giant scale costing lives of millions of people.
    My heart goes to our friends in Ukraine who are fighting for their and our free society and the right to choose. They need all the support we can give.
    I hope Russian People will get the strength and the will to create a democratic system to elect the government which will not threaten the world anymore. Sonner or later Russian society, presently blocked from the world by state controlled media will learn what Putin has done in Ukraine and realize the cost Russians will bear for years to come.

  2. robert norris says:

    During Covid, the worldwide home based maker community provided amazing quantities of PPE, and I feel personally proud of that period. I feel sure that many of that same community would like to help during the coming insurgency phase in Ukraine by providing designs for local manufacture or to make items and ship to destinations (Poland?) for onward shipment into Ukraine. But, this does require some organisation and communication lines to be setup. Anyone care to assist in setting this up or can provide suggestions as to any arrangements which may already be in place?

  3. redactle says:

    I pray that the people of Russia will have the courage and determination to establish a free and fair electoral process that will result in a government that poses no further danger to international peace and security. Russia’s population, which is now isolated from the rest of the world due to state-controlled media, will eventually become aware of Putin’s actions in Ukraine and the repercussions they will have for years to come.

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