On May 6, the Biden administration introduced a new initiative called “Additive Manufacturing Forward (AM Forward).” The program is focused on expanding the use of additive manufacturing technology in the U.S. among small and medium sized suppliers.
“3D printing technology is incredible. It can reduce a part’s lead time by as much as 90 percent,” Biden said, noting that the technology can also slash material costs by 90 percent, and cut energy use in half when compared to forging, casting and other legacy processes. “That all helps to lower the cost of making goods here in America,” he added.
Recognizing that U.S. Small and Mid-size Enterprises (SMEs) don’t have access to the resources and financing needed to incorporate 3D technology, the administration has identified a range of federal programs that will help U.S. SME manufacturers incorporate additive manufacturing capabilities. They include:
- Providing SME manufacturers with access to funding
- Delivering technical assistance from the federal government and OEMs
- Training the additive manufacturing workforce
- Setting industry standards
AM Forward is a completely voluntary compact open to any OEM, provided they are willing to make public commitments to support their suppliers’ adoption of additive capabilities. It is supported by Applied Science & Technology Research Organization (ASTRO) America, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization.
Several large U.S. manufacturing companies, including GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, Siemens Energy, and Raytheon Technologies have joined the AM Forward pact and signed letters of intent to increase their orders for 3D printed parts from U.S. suppliers, provide training opportunities to their suppliers’ workforces, offer detailed technical assistance, and help develop new industry standards. The White House has published a Fact Sheet that explains their commitments to AM Forward in greater detail.
The Connecticut Manufacturer’s Resource Group (ctmrg.com) can help manufacturers take advantage of the resources offered by AM Forward and other initiatives through a network of providers. Contact us to discover the solution that fits your specific requirements.