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The French National Research Institute for Development (IRD) has developed a water pollution sensor for the wild using Formlabs’ stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing technology.
The IRD is a public multidisciplinary organization functioning under the supervision of the Ministries of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Europe and Foreign Affairs. It is involved in promoting environmentally and geopolitically sustainable development in over fifty countries.
The primary objective of this project was to produce a ‘low-cost’ device for environmental monitoring purposes. The team had decided on 3D printing as they wanted to manufacture a user-friendly prototype of the sensor with commercially available tools. Through the use of the practical device, non-specialists in the wild are able to test waters and collect pollution data, thus creating a real citizen observation network.
Design of the environmental probe. Image via IRD.
The design and structure of the device
The team envisioned a device that would function as an electronic probe encapsulated in a waterproof shell. The design choice was made to fulfill the core objective of isolating pollutants in water – specifically mercury. The purpose of this device lies in facilitating sampling, making it possible to transition from a ‘specialist’ observation network to a participative one. …
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