In May this year, 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. As part of it, the US government and the largest international corporations support initiatives related to 3D printing developed by small and medium-sized enterprises in America. Initially, GE Aviation, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Siemens Energy joined the program. Now it has been joined by Boeing – one of the largest aviation corporations in the world, and Northrop Grumman – an American technology and defense company that produces airplanes, space rockets, radars and advanced cyber security software.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman aim to increase the number of small and medium-sized suppliers competing for bidding packages for products using industrial 3D printing. Boeing will also aim to increase its qualified small and medium-sized suppliers by 30% and provide technical guidance to meet the qualification requirements.

“We know that the competitiveness of the US industrial base, including Boeing, depends on the ability of a broad spectrum of suppliers to manufacture and process critical aerospace parts,” said Melissa Orme, vice president, Additive Manufacturing, Boeing.

Technologies such as 3-print can reduce part lead times and material costs by 90% and cut energy consumption in half. The White House says too few American companies are using 3D printing or other high-performance high-tech manufacturing.

A Biden administration official told Reuters the program could extend to the automotive or semiconductor sectors.

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.


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