ÉTS, CHUM and CIUSSS NIM launch a network for the 3D printing of medical equipment

- 3 min

In order to offer support to the hospital sector during the fight against COVID-19, researchers from École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) Research Centre and the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’île-de-Montréal (CIUSSS NIM) have joined forces with the clinical teams at CHUM and CIUSSS NIM to provide 3D printing services for the medical and non-medical equipment required by health-care workers.

The purpose of mobilizing this team – which has already resulted in the delivery of 1000 face shields to health-care workers at CHUM – is to align existing 3D-printing capabilities with the equipment needs of the hospital sector.

The team is creating prototypes and printing medical and protective equipment to meet the needs of hospitals until such time as their usual suppliers are able to fulfil the demand. The objective is to quickly produce face shields, swabs used in testing for COVID-19, adaptors for protective mask filters and for connections to respirators, as well as protective tents for surgery.

According to Jacques de Guise, Professor at ÉTS and Researcher at the CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM): “We are currently able to create a minimum of 500 face shields per day. Our team is following Health Canada’s recommendations for the production of equipment, in addition to having established links with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) in order to ensure that the needs of the health network are properly met.” The production capacity may be increased in the coming days, with the cooperation of industrial partners and social economy companies from the Fab Labs and Living Labs network, along with citizens and students who have 3D printers. Approximately fifty of them are already supporting the team on a voluntary basis.

This type of cooperation they are hoping for is reflected in their mood and in the name of this unique group from Québec: Covi3d (Création ouverte et vivante en impression 3D).

ÉTS is giving its partners at CHUM and CIUSSS NIM access to 3D printers, materials and specialized personnel, including engineers, technicians and students, in order to facilitate the manufacture of this protective equipment, along with the required medical and non-medical equipment.

At CHUM, François DeBlois and Stéphane Bedwani, both Medical Physicists and Researchers, are offering their expertise and the services of the “Carrefour d’impression 3D en santé” (Health-related 3D printing centre), which normally serves the needs of the CHUM Radio-Oncology Department and other hospital sectors. Specialized personnel, including engineers and technicians, are responsible for overseeing the centre’s operations.

Members of the team: François DeBlois and Stéphane Bedwani in front. Karim Zerouali and Sylvain Bélanger behind.

Their rainbow is made up of spools of 3D printing material (plastic).

François DeBlois, Chief of physics in the CHUM Radio-Oncology Department, explains: “It is extraordinary to see the entire Québec scientific community joining forces in the area of 3D printing. It has come together in a spirit of cooperation and openness to support the teams of health-care workers on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.”

“This initiative is the fruit of a productive joint effort involving the research and medical departments of three major institutions, and is a source of great pride for us”, adds Daniel Sinnett, Director of Research, Education and Innovation at CIUSSS NIM.

The Covi3d team

The multidisciplinary team is coordinated by Stéphane Bedwani, Medical Physicist at CHUM and Researcher at CRCHUM; François DeBlois, Medical Physicist at CHUM and Researcher at CRCHUM; Jacques A. de Guise, Professor in the Systems Engineering Department at ÉTS and Researcher at CRCHUM; and Kathy Malas, Deputy President-Director General – Innovation and Artificial Intelligence at CHUM.

The following individuals are involved in this initiative: Sophie Lerouge, Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department (ÉTS) and Researcher (CRCHUM); Vladimir Brailovski, Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department (ÉTS) and Researcher (CIUSSS NIM); Yvan Petit, Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department (ÉTS) and Researcher (CIUSSS NIM Research Centre); Éric Wagnac, Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department (ÉTS) and Researcher (CIUSSS NIM Research Centre); Lucas Hof, Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department (ÉTS).

You want to collaborate on the project? Email us: COVI3D@etsmtl.ca