Working With 3D Printing? Here’s Why You Should Care More About Federal Policy « Fabbaloo

Leadership from the Additive Manufacturing Coalition (left) and from America Makes (right) celebrate the 2022 announcement of the organizations’ strategic collaborative partnership (Source: Additive Manufacturing Coalition)

Additive Manufacturing Coalition and America Makes campaign for policy updates that recognize the importance of additive manufacturing in aerospace and defense.

As additive manufacturing (AM) continues to evolve and mature as a technology and as an industry, engineers need to keep up with the latest developments. For the most part, that means staying on top of technical knowledge, training, upskilling and other workforce trends. There is no industry, after all, without the people powering it.

Outside of design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) and other such concerns about bringing new AM capabilities into consideration from conception, engineers would do well to pay attention to an issue that may often seem outside their niche: Policy.

AM Policy Drivers

Policy at national levels is, naturally, driven by different organizations across different nations. More and more countries are seeing the establishment of one or multiple such organizations to drive, promote, accelerate, invest in and otherwise take a direct approach on impacting countrywide AM policy.

America Makes, the US national accelerator for AM technology, is a public-private consortium powered by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). Founded ten years ago, the organization’s mission is to advance the US’ positioning in advanced manufacturing, accelerating adoption and enhancing national competitiveness.

Members come together annually at MMX – the Members Meeting and Exchange. Held this August in Canfield, Ohio, just miles from America Makes’ Youngstown headquarters, MMX brought hundreds of attendees, speakers, sponsors, federal officers, member businesses and media together for the 2023 exchange of ideas and information.

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Among the many partners and collaborators present was the Additive Manufacturing Coalition (AMC). For its part, the AMC describes itself as “national membership organization recognized as the national voice for additive manufacturing with decision-makers and stakeholders, including Federal agencies and Congress.” The organization strives to connect its membership directly with decision-makers on the US Federal level.

Exactly one year ago during MMX 2022, America Makes and the Additive Manufacturing Coalition announced a collaborative partnership. The ultimate goal of the move, the original announcement noted, was “to help coordinate the information and outreach activities to policy makers in Congress and the Federal Agencies to advance the industry.” While continuing individual work and initiatives, the announcement stated that, “The partnership will ensure that both organizations collaborate to advance the adoption of Additive Manufacturing throughout the commercial and governmental sectors.”

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