In response to an urgent need and in particular to meet demands from French hospitals facing a lack of medical equipment in the daily management of covid-19 treatments, IFA Paris supports the Visières Solidaires (1) initiative. "IFA Paris decided without hesitation to join this project. And to respond to orders from Paris hospitals, we have started to print 3D protective visors intended primarily for healthcare personnel, doctors, nurses and hospital staff" explains Jean-Baptiste Andréani, General Manager of the Paris campus of the IFA Paris fashion school. 

IFA Paris is able to manufacture 3D masks at a steady pace thanks to Foundry (2), IFA Paris’ Fashion Tech lab, the first fashion technology innovation laboratory in Paris, situated on the school's campus in the 19th arrondissement, and partly dedicated to students in the specialized "Fashion Tech Innovation" program. "The laboratory is equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters and 3D body scanners. The face mask can be made from transparent plastic sheet material. It is combined with a head fastener, a rubber moulding that is the part printed in 3D. Together they form a protective face shield which, in combination with, for example, a so-called FFP2 mask (with 5 layers of filtering material) or a surgical type mask with several folds, constitutes a first basic protection in a hospital environment. The visor can be easily disassembled for cleaning and disinfection for reuse.

"Fortunately, civil society is taking initiatives to find solutions. They may not be perfect, but in times of crisis the D system prevails. We don't claim to provide certified medical equipment, but at least we can make our modest contribution towards addressing a shortage of protective equipment for health care workers. Even a fashion school is able to contribute to the effort, as are some fashion brands and large industrial groups, and this is thanks to our Fashion-Tech laboratory! "says Antoine Mousselon, Director of Digital Marketing at IFA Paris.

For several weeks now, many French companies have also decided to participate in the joint effort. Michelin has launched the production of rubber-based medical masks. Decathlon has offered hospitals 30,000 diving masks that have been modified from their function to be used with artificial respirators, thanks to the addition of breathing fibers and a 3D-modelled mouthpiece. Elsewhere in the world, groups such as Mercédès and Dyson have developed medical ventilators and respirators. Textile workshops began to produce masks and perfume manufacturers, such as Christian Dior, began to manufacture hydro-alcoholic gel and other disinfectants.

(1) https://visieresolidaire.org/fr
(2) https://www.ifaparis.com/foundry

This group on Facebook shares useful information on the initiative: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2454266324886624