For almost nine years, Erwan Grimaud has specialised in making drones through 3D printing with his business MC-Clic. Now his attention has turned toward making visors, a vital piece of protective equipment for Monaco’s healthcare workers. He will appear this Thursday evening at a Business Time virtual conference, organised by the Young Economic Chamber of Monaco (JCEM), alongside Anne Caravel, owner of the Jardin Exotique pharmacy and Frédéric Platini, Secretary-General of Monaco Red Cross. Grimaud spoke to Monaco Tribune about his work during the crisis and what he expects the next step will be. 

Erwan, tell us about your initiative. How did you come up with the idea of designing masks with your 3D printers?

Friends of mine said to me, ”Erwan, you have 3D printers, there are no masks. Can’t you make some for us?” So we looked at what we could do. We saw that the files which already existed weren’t the best, but we found one that we liked enough, modified it, made it waterproof, and put it into production. From there, we went on to make visors, which passed the health standards required by Princess Grace Hospital Centre. They are hard plastic masks which are not necessarily very comfortable, but they have an FFP2 filter inside. We have produced more than 2000 of them. Currently, I am making clasps so that they can be opened with your elbows, as requested by the medical staff.

 How do you adapt to these new products?

(Il sourit) It’s been a big change, that’s for sure. Usually, we produce drones and automated systems that work on air, land and water. It’s very different, but it’s also exciting. It requires us to produce more, with some days running from 8am to 1am so we can meet the demand properly and be on time for those who need it. My team and I do our best to get them out.

On Thursday 23rd April, you will be one of the three speakers in the Business Time virtual conference “Monegasques reinventing themselves in the face of the pandemic.” What are your thoughts?

It’s a superb initiative. The platform and the way it has been set up are excellent. The Young Economic Chamber of Monaco gets all my thanks for this great initiative. We’ll be able to exchange on our respective focuses in this crisis period. There is a real sense of solidarity, particularly on the part of the Government, the Red Cross and pharmacies. We must keep going.

You are also beginning to develop the concept of the “Apartment Block Battle”, which encourages Monegasques to show their support for healthcare workers.

We discussed it with the press office, it was an idea we came up with together, and we thought it was going to be great. We needed an exciting voiceover, so we called Ferxel Fourgon. I think he was the only one who had the prestige to take on this project. It’s a pleasure to do it every night and make life easier during lockdown.

INTERVIEW: The Monaco Red Cross is helping the Principality to face the pandemic. With Frédéric Platini, the Secretary-General of the Monaco Red Cross.

VIDEO: How Monaco manages the antibacterial gel shortage in the face of COVID-19. With Anne Caravel, manager of the Exotic Garden Pharmacy in Monaco.