COVID PPE Response

Vector Space is honored to be working with so many partners to provide medical accessories and supplies for our local healthcare workers. This page will be updated regularly as needs and progress changes.

News Coverage

News & Advance, April 5 - Vector Space in Lynchburg hopes to aid in fight against coronavirus
WSET, April 6 - Lynchburg's Vector Space 3D prints personal protective gear for medical professionals
WFXR, April 6 - A Lynchburg company is 3D printing face shields for local health workers
WSLS, April 9 - Vector Space delivers masks, intubation boxes to Lynchburg medical workers
WSET, April 9 - Vector Space teams up with Mama Crockett's to give intubation boxes to local hospitals
WSET, April 30 - Dentists prepare to open after Governor Northam gives the green light

PPE Needs and Status

May 21 Update
As Virginia moves into Phase I and businesses begin to re-open, we have continued to fulfull PPE orders for high-risk individuals and small businesses. The librarians, poll workers, dentists, city employees, and small business owners of Lynchburg are outfitted with face shields and face masks provided by Vector Space and our partners. PPE has also been sent outside of our community to healthcare workers in Richmond, Seattle, and on Friday a batch of 100 shields will be delivered to UVA Medical Center.

This week we also put our extra transparencies to work on a new prototype for a face mask with clear panel in the center. Called a communicator mask, this design is to allow lip reading for individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing. If the prototype is effective, we will produce more of these for individuals and community service organizations that serve hearing impaired populations.

April 22 Update

This week we will deliver the last of five intubation boxes to Lynchburg General Hospital. After the first prototype, we redesigned the box to be lighter and easier to transport by adding plastic hinges to create a folding box. See it in action on our Facebook page

While our local hospital received a large order of face shields from manufacturers, many smaller offices in the area are not able to get their orders for PPE fulfilled. We have continued to step in, providing face shields to dental offices, radiologists, first responders, nurses in residential facilities, and more. So far with our partners we have distributed more than 450 face shields in the Lynchburg area! At Vector Space we have moved from a 3D printed visor to a CNC routed design, which cuts prodcution time from 2 hours down to 5 minutes per visor. There is also less assembly required with this version, while maintaining the necessary protective elements.

3D printing has proven itself useful for other needs, including mask extenders (to aleviate pressure on the ears for those wearing face masks for extended hours at a time), and bias tape jigs to make the process of sewing fabrics masks more efficient.

April 9 Update

Our latest efforts in protecting health care providers during this time are intubation boxes. They protect medical teams during intubation, a procedure that has a high risk of transmitting the virus, but is crucial for Covid-19 patients. Our neighbors at Mama Crockett's Cider Donuts have offered to help fund these boxes with their BOX IT UP campaign. Commercial Glass and Plastics is our excellent materials provider, and the first box (pictured) is already in use at Lynchburg General.

Vector Space is a drop-off location for 3D printed visors made at home or at your business. Please put clean prints (in a plastic bag or tote) on the loading dock in our Court St parking lot, near (or in) the mailbox. If you need filament, elastic, foam, or clear plastic sheets to assemble your own shields, we can provid them to you.

Lynchburg Machining is now cranking out mask extenders by the thousands on their waterjet. We have these available and can distribute them with masks and shields.

April 6 Update

On March 30 we received a call from a family that works at Lynchburg General, looking for 3D printed face shields for nurses in the non-COVID ICU. We had been watching our Nation of Makers partners come together around the country with initiatives like and the NIH 3D Print Exchange, so we were ready to proceed with approved designs right away. We delivered a batch of 28 face shields and began conversations with local anesthesiologists about prototyping ventilator parts and intubation boxes. Both of these efforts are in the design phase.

As our community prepares for what is likely to be an increase in COVID-19 cases, medical professionals have requested face shields, fabric masks, and mask extenders. Many partners have stepped up to contribute to the cause as well. 

We are so grateful for those that have stepped up to offer help with this project. Individuals and organizations have volunteered time and money, fired up their 3D printers and sewing machines, and sourced all kinds of materials to contribute to the cause of getting PPE and other needs to our medical community. Below are some shout outs and ways you can help:

Framatome Inc., NovaTech, James River Day SchoolLynchburg City Schools, and many individuals are running their 3D printers to create visors and other needs
Lynchburg City Schools Education FoundationRandolph CollegeCommercial Glass and Plastics, and lots of individuals have sourced and donated needed materials, including transparency sheets, elastic, and 3D printer filament
Mama Crockett's Cider Donuts is cooking up a scheme to further assist our medical professionals in a big way
- Many, including Bank of the James, have donated funds to keep this effort going

THANK YOU!! If you want to help by 3D printing, the design files are in the comments and you can drop printed parts (please label them with the filament type used) at Vector Space, on the loading dock in our Court St parking lot. This goes for sewn masks, too, which we will get to the Junior League of Lynchburg for distribution. Materials can also be dropped here and will be distributed to our partners as needed. Financial donations will go towards materials and keeping our operations running, though many folks are donating their time and efforts voluntarily.

If your medical office needs PPE or other supplies, let us know. There is a collaborative spreadsheet outlining needs and resources that can be viewed here.