Protective face shields made with help of Prime Air drone engineers now for sale on Amazon

Medical professionals are seen wearing the face shield developed with the help of Amazon. (Amazon Photo)

A protective face shield made by 3D printing enthusiasts in Washington state, with the help of Amazon Prime Air drone engineers, is now for sale on Amazon.com.

Amazon is selling the Pacific Northwest Shields at cost, and at $66.25 ($2.65 each) they are a third less than all other reusable face shields currently available to frontline workers, according to the company.

Amazon got involved early in the coronavirus pandemic when a technical program manager heard about a group called Washington State 3D Face Shield Hub which was developing the personal protective equipment. The Amazon worker brought in colleagues from Prime Air’s mechanical design and hardware teams to contribute solutions.

A machine used to cut carbon fiber for Prime Air drones is being used to cut plastic for face shields. (Amazon Photo)

Amazon says engineers from its drone team improved the initial design and made upgrades based on feedback from medical professionals. To ensure that the shields could be produced quickly and at scale, an open sourced design package for both 3D printing and injection molding was created. The team also received approval on the design from the National Institutes of Health.

As part of the initiative, Amazon also announced Tuesday that its has donated 30,000 more face shields than originally anticipated and will donate another 150,000 by the end of this year for a total of 200,000 donated face shields. The company also made a $10 million donation to get PPE supplies to organizations in need.

Related: Face it, these mask-making efforts during the COVID-19 crisis reveal who we really are

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