ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Virginia Western Community College recently announced the completion of a project with Carilion Clinic to manufacture PPE devices to help protect healthcare workers in the Roanoke area during the ongoing pandemic.
Employees and students at the college partnered in the STEM Building’s Fab Lab to print, via 3D, almost 600 devices that were used to increase the effectiveness of respirators.
At the end of 2020, Carilion Clinic reached out to Virginia Western’s Fab Lab about working together on this project.
There was a shortage of PPE devices that attach to a respirator and allow additional filter material to be used with the respirator.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shortage of PPE for healthcare workers globally, I knew there could be a demand for the use of equipment in our labs and an opportunity for our students to gain valuable experience. We enjoyed working closely with Carilion to ensure we made what they needed when they needed it.”
Virginia Western students worked on the 3D printing projects at school and at home with portable 3D printers on loan.
The collaboration gave mechatronics students a chance to see real-world applications for the skills they learned in the classroom while allowing the lab to become a resource for the entire community.
During the course of the project, Virginia Western supplied these devices to healthcare providers, who are now using them in hospital settings.
Each device took about one hour and 15 minutes to manufacture and includes a PLA filament.