Jessica Vermeer
21 April 2020

The ventilators of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) are ready to be tested. Last Friday, Audi Brussels produced the first 50 pre-serial systems. The VUB Fablab shares the knowledge gained with interested parties internationally, to assist countries with limited production possibilities.

The respirator shortage inspired several companies and universities to get creative and produce their own. Together with the university hospital and Flanders Make, the VUB Fablab developed and tested a simple machine. Professor Mark Runacres: “In terms of functionality, it does what professional devices do. But, of course, it hasn’t yet been tested like a professional machine, because we don’t have the time for full certification. We strive for maximum compliance with the requirements.”

VUB respirator prototype
The prototype as it was on 2 April. Credit: Vrije Universiteit Brussel

The VUB engineers started with an MIT design and input from Johns Hopkins University. They received support from several companies, including Volvo Trucks and DAF Trucks, which supplied windscreen wiper motors (link in Dutch).