ATLANTA – Amid a critical shortage of ventilators in the US, and with 3D-printers now available under $200, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a free set of instructions and templates for making your own ventilator.
The move comes as Americans who have contracted the coronavirus are “sick and tired” of governors who can’t find ventilators or have forgotten and misplaced them in some dusty warehouse somewhere.
Now, the National Health Agency based in Atlanta has brought a “breath of fresh air” by posting a free PDF with instructions and a .gcode file to allow you to print the parts necessary to assemble your very own, honest-to-goodness, working ventilator at home.
“If you can make those weird ice cubes with plastic trays and also put together IKEA furniture on your own – then making your own ventilator is a snap,” the CDC said in a press release. “After printing out the parts, assembly is an hour, tops.”
“Besides, for the less than the cost of your average co-pay, you can build your own ventilator and give your local governor the middle finger,” the CDC added. “Plus, there’s no need to wait for a referral or approval from your insurance company.”
The CDC said anyone can do it, but added that certain types of individuals will excel in this area and could use their expertise to guide others.
“Your grandmother could make one,” a CDC spokesperson said.
The CDC press release lists puzzle enthusiasts, LEGO fanatics and those who make their own “water pipes or bongs” as having “natural” ventilator-building skills.
“If you’ve ever made your own bong, then you’re already familiar with the necessity of ensuring a tight air seal,” the PDF instruction manual reads. “This is the crucial factor in assembling your homemade ventilator.”
The manual already anticipates how weed smokers might deal with air leaks.
“As a precautionary note: Don’t use already-chewed bubblegum in an attempt to create an external seal around the air hose, as this could contaminate the parts,” the instructions explain.
“Instead, don’t be a cheapskate and buy some plumber’s putty-like the manual tells you to, pothead.”
The health agency said anyone can make a ventilator that would be “just as good” as those by automakers now tasked with the job.
With GM now making ventilators at its Kokomo, Indiana plant, the CDC said it had two words about that: “Chevy Volt.”
“Let’s face it,” the CDC said, “GM is no Tesla.”
“If GM can make a ventilator, anyone can do it,” a CDC spokesperson added, “and probably just as good.”
The CDC press release advised that waiting on the government to deliver the necessary amount of ventilators to meet America’s needs is futile.
The biggest reason to make your own ventilator, according to the CDC, is the inability to rely on state and local governments. The health organization stressed that’s why it felt it was necessary to release these plans to the general public immediately.
“For decades, a variety of White House Administrations thought all that talk about building up a large supply of ventilators was a bunch of hot air,” the CDC said in the press release.
“The reality is that waiting on state and federal officials to provide enough ventilators is like hoping Tom Brady will go back to the Patriots – it ain’t going to happen.”