3D printing company strikes gold with idea that copper can stop the spread of COVID-19


When COVID-19 hit, SPEE3D founders Byron Kennedy and Steve Camilleri tried to work out how they could prevent the spread of the virus, and decided to investigate if antimicrobial copper could be the key.

According to Kennedy, copper has been known to kill viruses and bacteria for centuries, so they decided to research if it would kill this specific coronavirus.

They went to 360Biolabs, a clinical trial speciality laboratory accredited by the Australian National Association of Testing Authorities, and tested its effect on the virus. It showed that the antimicrobial copper killed 96% of the virus within 2 hours, and 99.2% of the virus within five hours.

As a result, the Melbourne and Darwin-based metal 3D printing manufacturer developed ACTIVAT3D copper, which uses SPEE3D printers to coat metal parts – including door handles and railings – with copper.

Using digital print files, copper fixtures have since been installed in Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Swinburne University in Melbourne and at the University of Delaware.

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