Washington DC – President Biden has officially launched Additive Manufacturing Forward, a voluntary compact among large manufacturers to help smaller US-based suppliers increase their use of 3D printing. It will be supported by several federal initiatives.
The White House says additive manufacturing offers multiple advantages over conventional manufacturing methods. The reduction in lead time for parts made this way can be significant, and this includes parts using polyurethane materials such as TPU and TPE. Other potential advantages to the US economy include a reduced dependence on imports.
However, 3D printers represent a significant investment, and manufacturers may struggle to find the finance they require because of the novelty of the technique and the fact that demand is not clear.
AM Forward includes General Electric Aviation, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies and Siemens Energy. These OEMs will work directly with US-base suppliers to demonstrate clear demand for parts made via additive manufacturing. They have also committed to providing technical assistance and worker training, and work together to develop standards.