Manufacture of a protective visor with a 3D printer. Illustrative photo.
Manufacture of a protective visor with a 3D printer. Illustrative photo. (MAXPPP)

Fabric masks, plastic protective visors or diving masks transformed into respirators… The Covid-19 epidemic unleashed the energies of makers of all kinds, these Geo Trouvetou who manufacture objects themselves, with 3D printers and plans exchanged on the internet.

Makers already represented a phenomenon before the coronavirus. Today, with the epidemic, they are on the rise and are emulating the general public. This ranges from teenagers making visors for caregivers in their neighborhood to sewing machine virtuosos who have embarked on making masks with trendy fabrics. Whether for personal use or for the community, it is the triumph of “Do it yourself”, DIY at home or in fablab, everyone can improvise maker.

To make masks out of fabrics, there are quantity of tutorials, in particular in video on YouTube. For this to be effective, certain rules must be observed, such as not using a fabric that is too thin. France is one of the only countries to have enacted a standard, which can be downloaded from the AFNOR website (unfortunately a bit saturated).

To make face shields, if you have a 3D printer, you can download plans from the official platform. And if you want a little trendy side, you can follow the visor model offered by Apple which Tim Cook, the CEO demonstrated himself on video.

For fablabs or makerspaces, that is to say places equipped with equipment, the site offers plans that allow the manufacture of artificial respirators or simply contactless door opening systems.

It is interesting to note that most of the plans are under free license, that is to say usable by everyone without royalties. For example, the famous Decathlon diving mask transformed into a respiratory assistance accessory, is the subject of a patent, to avoid any commercial recovery, but it is accessible to all.


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