Additive manufacturing is changing the face of the industrial sector.
“It’s such a pivotal technology for changing the game in manufacturing,” said Ed Morris, director of America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. “Additive manufacturing has a whole new set of rules.”
America Makes is the flagship institute for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.
Structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, America Makes is working to innovate and accelerate additive manufacturing to increase the nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness.
“The economic engine of the U.S. isn’t as robust as it once was,” Morris said.
Additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing, allows for more effective use of materials by manufacturers, among a host of other benefits, said Morris, who also is vice president of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining. Additive manufacturing involves slicing a digital image of an object into layers, which printers then recreate one layer at a time in materials such as plastic and metal, among others.
Under Morris’ leadership, America Makes has been focused on accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing design and production technologies.
Additive manufacturing is having an “incredibly ubiquitous impact” in medical applications and other areas, including aerospace, he said.
The adoption of additive manufacturing can lead to new products, job creation and the formation of new businesses, Morris said.
Morris will take part in a panel discussion on additive manufacturing and the benefits of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation centers at Manufacturing Matters! He will appear with Jacob Goodwin, director of membership engagement for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute. n