Faculty Blog

Students produce 3D printed masks for medical staff

Students of the University’s Master in Architecture programme have launched an initiative to produce protective masks for medical staff to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Respecting the call for social distancing, one designated student uses a 3D printer in the University’s Maison du Savoir to print the masks.

It all started on WhatsApp. Barred from campus, the members of the Architecture Student Association chat on the messaging service. One of them shares an initiative of «3D Print – Let’s Fight Corona Luxembourg», two brothers who started to produce protective masks using their 3D printers. The students decide to follow this initiative supported by the Ministry of Heatlh,. “We quickly realised that we could do the same. We had the materials, a printer and the motivation,” explains Amanda Dalmut Ortiz, second year student of the Master in Architecture, specialising in Urban Planning. 

Printing in quarantine

Given the current closure of University facilities and the call for social distancing, starting the production was challenging. The student association reached out to the University with their idea. “We were aware that we must respect social distancing. Therefore, we suggested that only one student would go to the campus to print the protective masks. This way we could minimise the risks. The University heard us and quickly agreed to support our initiative,” Amanda explains.

The next Wednesday morning, production begins. “I was not familiar with the printer, so I spent the whole day in the room learning how to produce reliable protective masks,” Amanda says. At the end of the day, the students have a better understanding of their production capacity. “One mask requires around an hour and a half of work. We hope to produce 5 per day,” Amanda says. “It may only be about twenty a week, but we are convinced that it can help and will be useful.”

Being part of the collective effort 

Once the printing is done, another member of the association will take over and bring the masks to the distribution center. The masks are collected in six centers across Luxembourg before they are sent to the Lycée des Arts et Métiers who’s testing their conformity. Finally, they will be distributed for free to healthcare professionals. 

Alone in front of the printer, Amanda confides: "It is a strange feeling to be the only one in the building, but I finally feel useful. After three weeks at home, it's good to be part of the collective effort. We all felt the social need to be useful. We hope our initiative will have a real impact on people's lives.” 

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