Obama’s 3D Printing Plans to Up US Manufacturing Take Shape

Changing the spotlight from 3D printed weaponry to using 3D printing to get the country working, US President, Barack Obama has announced a $200 million federally funded competition to create three new cutting edge manufacturing institutes.

Intended to bring together research and product development, industry, universities and community colleges, the project is part of a greater effort to re-invest in American manufacturing jobs and skills lost over the last 10 years and is expected to include up to 15 new centres.

The White House 3D PrintingThe administration hopes the collaboration will foster a sort of “teaching factory” whereby students and workers at all levels could design, test and pilot new products and manufacturing processes.

The new phase of this project has come online buoyed by the success of the first proof of concept for the president’s programme. Built in what was once an old disused warehouse, The Ohio based National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) now houses workers learning about 3D printing, creating new products and getting them to market.

3D printing is expected to play an enormous role in the three new institutes as they are also centred around state of the art manufacturing techniques.

The three technology areas that they intend to pursue are: Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation; Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing; and Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing.

“Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing,” said President Obama in his State of the Union address. And as The Department of Energy anticipates that additive processes would be able to save more than 50 percent of energy use compared to today’s ‘subtractive’ manufacturing processes, these projects can only be good for the country and the industry.

Source: Obama Administration