From real estate to PPE.

A front-line health care worker wearing full personal protective equipment

LNG Studios pivoted its business from 3D modelling for real estate to making personal protective equipment during the pandemic.

When COVID-19 arrived in our community, thousands of local businesses closed their doors or fundamentally changed how they function. For most small businesses, it became a game of survival. Many have had to adopt, tweak or change direction to keep afloat. One business that had to pivot is LNG Studios. It’s a company that creates virtual reality simulations for architects, engineers and real estate developers, but since April 2020 they’ve been making personal protective equipment, or PPE.

When real estate developments were paused at the beginning of the pandemic, LNG Studios suddenly had no projects or cash flow. The owner, Leon Ng, had to inform his team that the business was on pause. That is, until a doctor from Richmond Hospital reached out to Leon. They were in dire need of PPE and were wondering if LNG could produce 3D-print face shields. Leon Ng spoke to his team and realized that it was something they could make and provide. At the time, they only had five 3D printers and were able to produce one face shield every 45 minutes. He reached out to the community and was able to rally 300 local 3D printers to meet the initial request by local hospitals and health authorities, but the requests kept coming. Soon other organizations and retail with essential frontline workers were inquiring about face shields.

LNG Studios creates virtual reality simulations for architects, engineers and real estate developers, but since April 2020 they’ve been making personal protective equipment, or PPE.

A group of front-line health care workers holding a sign thanking LNG Studios for providing them with personal protective equipment

The Vancity Unity Pivot Business Loan was created for small businesses that have changed track to support the COVID-19 response specifically, or have had to adapt to the changed environment. LNG Studios was a recipient. It bought additional 3D printers and more materials to produce not only face shields, but other 3D printed PPE for various hospitals and local retailers. “My business has pivoted not just to printing 3D face shields, but now to importing and reselling other types of PPE,” said Leon Ng.

Vancity’s relief programs for small business build on the supports already in place from the provincial and federal governments. We believe that local businesses are the heart and soul of our economy. It takes courage and innovation to change direction when facing unprecedented circumstances, and Vancity is here to help businesses with that spirit.

A 3D printer at LNG Studios being used to make face shields and two employees assembling the face shields
Feeding community.