At the crux of the unstable American economy and inconsistent employment rate is a dated manufacturing base, and in the heat of campaign season, President Obama is making an effort to address these issues and ease the worries of concerned voters. Mr. Obama made statements about encouraging innovation stateside so that America may reestablish a solid employment base through next-generation manufacturing, and he’s talking 3D printing. Slated to be the home of the first National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), Youngstown, Ohio may have a bright, productive future.
Serving as a pilot proof-of-concept to Mr. Obama’s call for Congress to approve his $1 billion plan to build 15 such manufacturing innovation hubs across the country, the project is a public-private partnership, so its funding will be coming from several directions. A consortium of private teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia has pledged to match $40 million to the Department of Defense’s initial $30 million contribution. On the private side, the collaboration of universities, community colleges, and workforce developers will provide knowledge-based resources and financial and human capital. From the public side, along with the Department of Defense, financial support will come from the Departments of Energy and Commerce, the National Science Foundation, and NASA. This is certainly a more-the-merrier type of situation.
Almost 10,000 workers, teachers, and students are anticipated to take part in this new form of technological advancement, learning the ropes of the future. Never have so many come together to build something that has the potential to affect so much, as this NAMII will likely affect nearly every industry, from automotive to medical to housing. 3D printing does not discriminate; the portfolio is constantly fattening, with enhancing exoskeletons, guns, meat, walls, and even human organs proving to be printable. What can’t be printed? It’s easy to see why the DoD has interest: cheaper weapons. The Department of Energy wants… well, cheaper energy. And NASA is ready to build The Ultimate Space Mountain on Mars. I exaggerated on that last bit, but you can see where this is going.
“Subtractive manufacturing” is behind the times, old news, and so 90s. Currently waste from the various industries must be shipped around to be dealt with; much of those transportation costs could be substantially reduced with nationwide use of 3D printing. Please oh MakerGod 9000 let 15 of these NAMII be built.
h/t: Live Science