PARIS (Reuters) – Renault workers in Spain have begun using 3D printers to manufacture visors for health workers from home, the French carmaker said on Tuesday, in a scheme that could be expanded to make other medical equipment elsewhere.

The move, which echoes experiments under way at other carmakers to find ways to boost production of medical equipment up to and including ventilators, is still small-scale, while shortages in Spain and elsewhere are acute.

Employees sent home because of factory closures have made around 50 mask supports, which are then completed by inserting acetate sheets that shield the face, the company said.

An engineer at the firm said it might be even able to use 3D printers in France to make parts for ventilators, vital for treating severely ill coronavirus patients.

Another French car manufacturer, PSA, said it was working with Air Liquide to look for ways to help the industrial gas maker increase its ventilator production. [nL8N2BH633]


(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Kevin Liffey)