We built a ventilator in a PC case

Last week we announced the MAINGEAR LIV (Prototype), and modern, portable, and inexpensive ventilator designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reaction from our community and the press has been absolutely amazing, and I wanted to give you all some insight into this project.

The MAINGEAR LIV project began with Rahul Sood, Chairman of the Board of MAINGEAR and co-founder of Unikrn, reaching out to me in order to find a way for us to use our talent, expertise, and vast network to help address the shortage of ventilators currently impacting the country. We both live in areas that have been massively affected by this pandemic and wanted to see what we could do to help. We quickly assembled a board of advisors made up of medical professionals and experts in the field and immediately began the prototype of the ventilator.

The team was tasked to make MAINGEAR LIV with the following goals in mind:

Through the tireless efforts of the team at MAINGEAR and our board of advisors, we were able to bring this project from an idea to reality in a short amount of time. We now have a fully operational prototype, and our team is quickly working on the final design while taking the steps needed to seek approval for the unit in the US.

You can see a quick walkthrough of the working prototype here using a simulation lung:

I’m so incredibly proud of the hard work by the team at MAINGEAR and our advisory board, and we will continue pushing to get this in the hands of the heroic medical professionals on the front lines battling this pandemic.

If you would like to learn about the MAINGEAR LIV please check out www.maingear.com/liv or email liv@maingear.com with any questions.

I’d also thank everyone in our community and the media that helped share our story. The support will help us spread the message and is key for us to get this out and available as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading.

Wallace Santos / MAINGEAR CEO

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Here are some of the highlights:

The Verge

“Maingear is known for building custom, high-end gaming PCs, but it’s responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic in a noble way by developing ventilators to help patients who suffer from COVID-19.”


“the LIV can be manufactured at scale at a quarter of the price of traditional ventilators. Though still pending FDA approval, the company is already in talks with state and local officials to supply LIV units to medical facilities across the country, with plans to scale to ship internationally.”

Tom’s Hardware

“When we asked Santos specifically how Maingear expects to keep up with ventilator production from larger companies like Dyson, he told us that its first prototypes are ready now, and that the company’s proximity to the emergency, its small size and its existing stock of parts allow it to act nimbly during this time of crisis. Now, it is simply a matter of pushing the ventilator through the FDA’s current Emergency Usage Authorization, for which Maingear has already assembled a Medical Advisory Board.”

PC Mag

“Maingear is best known for building custom PC desktops and laptops. But now the vendor is proposing to use its manufacturing facilities in New Jersey to churn out the Liv, which it says “can be produced at scale for approximately a quarter of the price of traditional ventilators.””

Hot Hardware

“LIV is an impressive kit. It may look like a desktop tower (in its prototype form — the final design could change), but the parts inside are very different.”


“Finally, there’s my good friend Wallace Santos and his band of exotic performance computer builders at Maingear Computers, a shop located in New Jersey — close to the COVID-19 hotspot in New York — that has a strong following with PC enthusiasts. Wallace and team took it upon themselves to call upon their resources to design and build a new kind of desktop box, known as the LIV Ventilator.”


“The off-the-shelf components help keep the costs down. Maingear claims the LIV can be produced at a quarter of the price of conventional ventilators. That still makes it relatively expensive (a ventilator typically costs tens of thousands of dollars), but the savings could make all the difference for hospitals already struggling to cope with high patient loads.”



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