US President Joe Biden announced the launch of the government program – AM Forward, which aims to stimulate the development of the 3D printing industry in the country. Under it, the US government and major multinationals will support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 3D printing initiatives in various ways.

The program is supported by the Applied Science & Technology Research Organization (ASTRO), a non-profit organization, and by GE Aviation, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Siemens Energy. On the public side, the Biden administration has selected a number of federal programs that can be used to support the adoption of 3D printing by SME manufacturers.

AM Forward is based on three key administrative goals:

  • more resilient and innovative supply chains thanks to investments in small and medium-sized enterprises
  • support for the so-called developing industries of the future, by overcoming the challenges of coordinating activities and making decisions that limit the adoption of new technologies
  • designing and implementing more projects in the US, by investing in regional production ecosystems.

Each of these goals is also supported by the Bipartisan Innovation Act (BIA), which established a supply chain office within the Department of Commerce to support additive technologies and invests in regional technology centers.

Through AM Forward, each of the companies that joined the program made a clear public commitment to purchase additively manufactured parts from smaller US suppliers. It will train employees of their suppliers in new technologies, provide detailed technical assistance to support their suppliers in adopting new solutions, and will be involved in the development of common standards and certification of products manufactured in this way.

AM Forward is a completely voluntary agreement open to any OEM to participate, provided it is willing to make a public commitment to supporting its 3D printing suppliers. Each of the companies participating in the program also declared:

GE Aviation will ask small and medium-sized suppliers to apply for 50% of the company’s inquiries for quotes for products manufactured in 3D printing technology. At the same time, it will endeavor to ensure that 30% of total external sourcing of additively manufactured parts is from US companies.

Raytheon will seek to involve SME manufacturers in more than 50% of inquiries for products manufactured using additive technologies. The company will also strive to simplify and accelerate the process of purchasing parts made in 3D printing technology.

Siemens Energy will aim to purchase 20-40% of all external 3D printer parts and services from US suppliers and partners. Additionally, it will engage 10-20 US SMEs to help improve their capabilities in this area. After that, it will train them on best practices for control and post-processing.

Lockheed Martin will work with its SME suppliers to conduct research to improve the efficiency of additive manufacturing techniques, particularly focused on the use of 3D printing as an alternative to castings and forgings. It will continue to participate in university and technical programs for additional workforce development, including supporting coursework and internships.

Honeywell will ask US SME suppliers to compete for quotation packages sent for products, machinery, production tooling and / or manufacturing process development using additive or related technologies. It will also offer technical assistance for part design, data generation, machine operation, post-processing, parts control / quality management to its SME suppliers.

To support the AM Forward program, the Biden administration has identified a number of federal programs that US SME manufacturers can use to support the introduction of 3D printing technology and increase their competitiveness. The administration’s activities focus on helping to overcome common challenges that have slowed down the implementation of 3D printing technology, especially among smaller entities.

Source: &

Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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