16 May 2020
Seattle: Amazon engineers from its drone delivery unit have developed reusable face shields for frontline workers, donating nearly 10,000 face shields to date and is on track to deliver 20,000 more in the coming weeks.
The company said it will sell the face shields on its website at a significantly lower price - almost a third of the cost.
The Amazon Prime Air engineers team worked with a group of 3D printing volunteers in Washington State and a team of doctors and received approval on their new design by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"With this approval, medical professionals knew the shields were authorized to the national standard and could feel comfortable accepting them as donations, or if they wanted to produce them on their own," the company said in a statement on Thursday.
In one week, Amazon engineers, in coordination with the open-source group, took the initial design and drastically improved it.
Making sure the shields could be produced quickly and at scale, they produced a detailed open-sourced design package for both 3D printing and injection moulding.
"It's no secret Amazon has expertise in the supply chain. Putting our scale to use for good, we repurposed our manufacturing facilities and are working with outside vendors to produce these new face shields quickly, and at a fraction of the cost," said Amazon.
To help quickly meet the growing requests from medical professionals across the country, the company has decided to start mass-producing these face shields and aim to make hundreds of thousands available over the next few weeks, at-cost, on Amazon.com.
"Because of the design innovations and the capabilities of our supply chain, we are confident we will be able to list them at a significantly lower price - almost a third of the cost - than all other reusable face shields currently available to frontline workers," the company added.