Biden to launch initiative focused on 3D printing
President Biden on Friday during a trip to Ohio will launch a new initiative aimed at lowering costs for American families by focusing on 3D printing.
The AM Forward is part of Biden’s efforts to improve supply chain resilience by getting private sector companies to purchase additive produced parts from smaller U.S.-based suppliers.
Major companies GE Aviation, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Siemens Energy are the initial participants in the initiative, which will be a voluntary compact between large manufacturers and their smaller U.S.-based suppliers.
“Not enough American companies are using 3D printing or other high-performance production technologies,” senior administration officials said, calling the issue a “chicken and egg problem.”
“Suppliers want to make these investments but don’t have the committed orders or the cash flow to make the investment, often between $3 [million] to $8 million,” officials said. “And companies don’t provide the orders because they don’t think their suppliers can actually make the parts. The private sector can’t do this alone and the federal government is going to be a key partner to help with AM Forward and address these challenges.”
Biden will travel to Cincinnati on Friday to meet with manufacturing leaders and see new additive manufacturing technologies as part of his effort to promote his plan to make more in America. He will visit United Performance Metals, an Ohio-based metal manufacturer that is a supplier to some of the companies that are signing on to the AM board, officials said.
The initiative will be supported by the nonprofit Applied Science & Technology Research Organization. The Biden administration plans to launch federal programs to help small and medium-sized manufacturers support the adoption of adequate capacity and increase their competitiveness, including through access to capital, technical assistance and workforce training.
The commitment from GE Aviation includes targeting small and medium-sized suppliers to compete on 50 percent of the requests for quotes that are sent out on products made using additive or related technologies. Siemens Energy committed to including targeting to purchase 20 to 40 percent of total externally sourced AM parts and services from U.S.-based suppliers.
Biden in Ohio will also reiterate his call for Congress to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which aims to improve U.S. supply chains.
“In Ohio, the president will reiterate how the Bipartisan Innovation Act will help reduce costs for Americans by making more goods in America, helping us both invent and make more in America, and bring middle-class jobs to communities and places all across America, like Ohio, so America can out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world for decades to come,” officials said.