Two years ago, Chanel had made a statement in the global beauty sphere by premiering a mascara, the Volume Revolution, equipped with the first 3D-printed brush manufactured on an industrial scale. A product, which has since its launch, consistently ranked among the top 5 bestsellers in Europe. ERPRO 3D Factory recently signed Volume Stretch, Chanel’s new mascara brush, also industrially produced via 3D printing.

Cyrille Vue, Founder and CEO of ERPRO

"With this new launch of Volume Stretch, we are going even further on the ’crazy’ side of the design, with truly differentiating shapes, to further improve eyelash lengthening. For us, this is a third incredible chapter written alongside Chanel," confirmed Cyrille Vue.

The extremely precise shape of the brush is fitted with 5 sets of bristles implanted in ellipse with at the centre, a hollow core. A brush shape, which would have been impossible to achieve without the help of 3D technology. The material, like the previous model, is biosourced from castor oil. "This material has amazing properties that we actually use a lot; recyclable and hyper resistant, it has existed for 70 years. What is more, castor oil is a plant that grows in fallow areas and requires very little water," added Cyrille Vue.

As with all previous models, ERPRO owns the license for the patents filed.

In the meantime, ERPRO 3D Factory has also participated in the E.Y.E. (Exhaust Your Ego) programme, which gives Chanel customers the possibility to personalize, from a dozen models proposed and according to the shape of their eyes, their mascara brush at the store counter.

3D printing as an immediate response to production requirements

Lock-down measures having led to the cessation of its production lines, ERPRO very quickly endeavoured to manufacture products in demand by hospitals. "We first started manufacturing protective visors which we offered to the APHP (Paris Hospitals), clinics and nursing homes. Then we manufactured spare parts for respirators which were sent to Spain, adaptors to fit on Decathlon scuba masks, thus diverting them from their primary purpose, to serve as respirators in hospitals. Most recently, we collaborated with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) to develop new valves for respirators," explained the manager.

At the heart of this unique context, 3D printing plays a central role. Its incomparable advantages when it comes to producing the most complex parts in no time, have made it an ally of choice in a context of emergency production. "All the makers [1] of France joined forces to become in a few days an agile and nationwide production plant capable of manufacturing thousands of these parts and of dispatching them the following days. No other Industry is capable of doing that, among material converters," highlighted Cyrille Vue.

Apart from its speed of execution, the technology also stands out through its ability to model complex, non-injectable parts.

"This crisis highlighted the fact that our country was home to clever industrial players, but that if we did not promote this ’made in France’, this specificity would slowly disappear. Our political authorities must understand that it takes a minimum of sovereignty over the long term to ensure that this momentum is maintained," concluded the entrepreneur.