The 3D printers in the FabLabs on the Brest and Rennes campuses are running at full capacity as IMT Atlantique's "makers" help in the fight against the coronavirus and work to reduce the lack of personal protective equipment.
On the Rennes campus, the six 3D printers in the FabLab in the SRCD department of IMT Atlantique have been recovered and about ten "makers", namely professors, department heads, engineers, and doctoral and post-doctoral students, have started printing complementary parts to the recommended protections in their homes.
"Our action is part of the effort by the LabFab of the Rennes metropolis, which responded to the call of the Brittany Region, the Regional Agency for Health and Biotech Health Brittany," explains Baptiste Gaultier, Research Support Engineer at IMT Atlantique.
The campus "makers" were particularly mobilized to meet the needs of the region's healthcare workers, staff from the Rennes University Hospital, private nurses and SOS Médecin, but also shopkeepers and supermarkets. "We're manufacturing door-opening hooks, parts for face shields, parts for plastic walls to protect employees and displays in shops, and assembly parts for ventilators and intubation kits" says Baptiste Gaultier.
If you are interested in finding out more about the devices being manufactured and/or joining the community of "makers" following the best practices laid out for decontamination and delivery, click here (page in French).
In Brest, Jean-Noël Bazin, a research and development engineer in the Electronics department, brought home the two Telefab 3D printers to respond to the call from the Brest CHRU (university hospital) and ENSTA Bretagne engineering school to make parts to provide protective face shields for the nursing staff of the CHRU, Ephad nursing homes, and for private nurses and doctors.
"Both printers are installed in my guest room that I converted into a factory. They are under severe strain: they are running almost 24 hours a day! For the moment, 50 parts have been printed, but I have enough plastic to continue, and demand continues to grow" explains Jean-Noël Bazin.
To date, the operation has brought together 74 participants, both individuals and organizations, and has already printed 1100 items. The parts are collected via relay points distributed by sector in order to limit everyone's movements, and are then assembled with transparent plastic panels at ENSTA. Finally, the resulting face shields are delivered to the CHRU.
"The initiative responds to a concrete need, and we are getting very positive feedback. We are developing the model of the printed parts in order to optimize printing times and to take into account constructive comments from users. We will soon pass the 1200-parts mark thanks to everyone doing their part and pitching in.»
Learn more about the operation.
by Pierre-Hervé VAILLANT