Responding to Market Signals, 3D Printer Manufacturer Starts Producing Hand Sanitizer

Tyler Tyler (271)
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See how 3D printer manufacturer, Prusa Research, is helping meet the demand for hand sanitizer by repurposing equipment.

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Prusa Research makes hand sanitizer to meet marketing demand

With the entire globe in a state of panic over Coronavirus, markets have seen an increase in demand for two products in particular: toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Given that Coronavirus has no known effect on your digestive system, the demand for toilet paper makes little sense. More obvious is the increase in demand for hand sanitizer, and many stores across the world are completely sold out.

In some cases, store owners have wised up and increased the price of hand sanitizer to as high as $50 a bottle. At first it may seem cruel to try to profit off of unusual market conditions, but according to the laws of market economics, it might be exactly what the world needs. In one sense, prices are a signal. When the price of a good increases dramatically due to increased demand, this can lead to big profits. And when manufacturers other other goods see these profits, there is incentive to start producing more of the good in demand.

And that's exactly what happened when 3D printer manufacturer, Prusa Research, retooled its factory to start producing hand sanitizer. In this crisis, the demand for 3D printers has surely declined, while the demand for hand sanitizer has increased. So Prusa was wise to convert some of their equipment from making 3D printers and filament, to making hand sanitizer.

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At the moment, there is no evidence that they're selling their hand sanitizer at scale yet, but they've started by using it in their facility and giving it to their employees to use at home. Hopefully, they're able to help meet the increase in demand, and hopefully other companies will follow suit.