38 : UTC Startups - series II

Following suit to Series I presenting just some of UTC’s start-ups, we offer our readers the Series II which will continue on UTC’s WebTV facility and via our social network pages. They indeed are the living proof that UTC through it’s a la carte pedagogy and its training/research continuum enhances the maturing and personal development of all its students, encouraging them to express and release their creative and innovative talents.

38 : UTC Startups - series II

A "green" printer

August 25, 2015, Xavier Garcia, a student engineer in the elective specialty Industrial Design Engineering (GM-IDI) in the Mechanical Engineering major at UTC was declared ‘finalist’ for this year’s James Dyson Award, with his ecological printer Weeprint.

Xavier had been thinking about this project for years. When you realize, he says that some "15 M hectares of forestland disappear every year and it takes 10 litres of water just to produce one sheet of A4 paper. And yet, despite these alarming figures, our printers spawn 15 000 billion sheets every year! I began to set up a recycling process for old lecture-course brochures before it dawned on me that it would be more efficient just to use the exact amount of paper needed for a given job. That was how my Weeprint project came to be."

In numerous instances (tickets, discount coupons, e-mail messages), one third of an A4 sheet is ample surface, but no personal printer on the market-place allows you to print on a variable surface. Xavier decided to set about designing and assembling one. "Weeprint is the name of a project I have been working on alone", explains Xavier.

"Nevertheless, I did have help from Antoine Lablée - one of the students employed by the UTC Innovation Centre's Fab'Lab - to prepare the mock-ups. The latter and working prototypes are essential when you want to develop a market-ready product". Moreover, Xavier also received assistance from the Engineering Design colleagues and from UTC in general, for the purpose of accompanying and encouraging students who wish to register for the Awards.

In essence, Weeprint embodies a simple principle: the printer is fitted with a roll of paper rather than A4 batch paper sheets, and the printout is cut to size when finished. The printer itself is made of recycled and recyclable materials and, with a modular design provides for simple maintenance, making Weeprint a lasting piece of home equipment. As a finalist in the James Dyson Award, Xavier will now be able to run for the International Award, the winner of which will be announced next Nov.10, 2015.

"My intention is to continue working on the design of Weeprint, developing a fully operational prototype, with the help of M Emmanuel Corbasson, head of the UTC's GM-IDI elective specialty. The ideal situation would be to have an important industrial actor interested in my project as that would lead to rapid development." But the student does not wish to limit his focus to a single project.

"It is already an incredible opportunity to have the UTC Innovation Centre so close; I have loads of other projects in mind and I really want to make the most of the facilities offered there before I graduate".