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The ICCUB Technology Unit contributes to the production of medical equipment with 3D printer

The Technological Unit of the Institute of Cosmos Sciences has joined the Fab-Lab UB, a University of Barcelona project regarding the COVID-19 health crisis. ICCUB researchers take part in the initiative by providing the 3D printer, which has been available to healthcare needs since March 30 at the Institute's facilities in the Barcelona Science Park.


The ICCUB Technology Unit, located at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), is one of the research groups that has joined the Fab-Lab UB initiative of the University of Barcelona by providing the 3D printer, located at the Institute’s facilities at PCB, in the prototype laboratory, where it is used for research-related tasks.

The engineers and researchers of the Technology Unit routinely use the printer to design and manufacture prototypes and parts for fastening electronic systems. These electronic systems, which are also designed by the team, are usually different types of sensors that must be fixed with mechanical fasteners, or crystals that must be attached to the sensors themselves, among others.

3D printing allows them to obtain the parts quickly, and to make the necessary modifications in a short period of time, at a reasonable price. Another advantage of this type of printing is that, in case it’s necessary to manufacture the same part in a different material, engineers can send the already validated prototypes directly to the manufacturers or suppliers.

This system can also be used for other projects, as in the case of the dissemination workshop Quarks: the bricks of matter, where the pieces were obtained by 3D printing.

“We have a mailing list where the needs for sanitary material are constantly updated; we share the files between the various groups, in order to manufacture the pieces in the most optimal way, and then we organize ourselves to collect all the pieces, assemble them and distribute them”, say the engineer Andreu Sanuy, who coordinates the 3D printing service within the Technology Unit.

The Fab-Lab UB initiative

The FabLab UB is a group resulting from an initiative by the Vice-Rector’s Office for Entrepreneurship, Transfer and Innovation to work on 3D printing projects. Although at the beginning of the pandemic the group was not active as itself, its launch had to rush due to the need for personal protection equipment. This goes together with the actions of the community of the University of Barcelona regarding the COVID-19 health crisis.

The FabLab UB, a grup formed by teaching staff and administrative and service staff of the faculties of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Health Sciences, and Fine Arts, continues to work for public health intensifying the production of material for the health staff and safety services.  

The volunteers of this group print and put together protection visors, ear protection straps and door-openers using a total of 17 3D printers of the research groups of the University and privates.

This material is distributed weekly around different hospitals in the provincial area of Barcelona and the safety services. Today, already 700 protection visors, 1.300 ear protection straps and ten door-openers have been given to the hospitals Clínic, Bellvitge, Sant Pau, Vall d’Hebron, and Creu Roja, as well as to Althaia Foundation and other centers and foundations.