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Present Obama mentioned 3D printing in the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, announcing the launch of three manufacturing hubs that will focus on additive manufacturing. He suggested that Congress creates “a network of 15 of these hubs” to ensure that the focus is on making America “a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.” The creation of these hubs will surely bring new, high-tech job opportunities with them.

Skip to 14:50 for Additive Manufacturing

The Department of Defense chipped in 30 million to get NAMII (National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute) founded back in August of 2012. Located in Ohio, it is the first manufacturing hub of its kind and just recently stopped accepting proposals for their first round of projects. They anticipate making a final decision by March 1, so I’m looking forward to hearing what sort of projects they’ll be working on. Will they focus on printable food? Medical applications? Or perhaps they’ll improve on past research for printing circuits? Leave a comment below with your best guess.

Eric Weinhoffer

Eric is a Product Development Engineer at MAKE. He creates kits and sources products for sale in the Maker Shed, focusing primarily on manufacturing. Occasionally he writes about cool things for the blog and magazine.


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Comments

  1. Ken Rushia says:

    Aide: “Sir, it seems the American people have been doing things without the government.”
    President: “OH NOES! We better fix that…”
    Aide: “I’ll throw money at the problem and put it in your speech.”

  2. The Pres'ent says:

    3D printing? They print some of my favorite magazines!

  3. Printable food? I don’t get how that would work, but sounds good.

      1. Jerry Tremble says:

        McDonald’s mastered that technology decades ago!

        1. terrefirma says:

          then why aren’t they using it for edible containers? They should be making them apple pie flavored.

  4. Stan says:

    Ehh, this can’t be good, any time the government get involved in anything that was doing fine outside of it it just never ends well. I got a sick feeling when I read this, it probably has something to do with protecting companies copyrights or something, if not then companies can get involved and mandate that the government passes laws to include chips in every printer so everything you print is known to them. Wish the government would stay out of things. Not good.

    1. terrefirma says:

      then the PEOPLE need to step up their game a little. I agree, gov’t bogs things down and allows for corruption, but unless the makers get a little inclusive , the opportunities for widespread change are limited

    2. @stan when you say “it can’t be good” you’ve quit and your you, you’re right, it will never be good. you’ve discouraged others trying to make change for the good and propose good policy. instead of commenting on a blog with downers, get active in your local government, work *together* on the policy you’d like to see, write informed articles and publish them.

      the president talking about 3d printing *is* a good thing. hackerspaces and 3d printing enthusiasts *can* make a difference, from how they vote in the local elections to promoting how we all believe 3d printing can and be used for good.

      the only way to get that “sick feeling” to go away, is to do something productive.

      1. Gunther says:

        “So the people did something cool and innovative on their own? lets ‘regulate’ it”

        For one just because Obama says hes going to do something with such and such intentions doesn’t mean a single thing will happen or happen in the proposed way. He doesn’t have the greatest track record. And it almost seems as if you are assuming Stan isn’t already being productive in his community. to me its seems the only people he was discouraging/questioning was the government, nothing wrong with that IMO. We should always be skeptical of more government…

  5. They may be trying to fit it into our homes so we don’t have to go for shopping. :)
    Just print everything we like. The best part will come when human teleportation will take place :P

  6. chuck says:

    The development of 3D printing technology has benefited form the openness of the DIY scene. The DoD is not known for sharing or openness. They’re also not known for humanitarian efforts. This program could very well lead to some advances in the technology but will we ever learn about them? Will the end result be a better world or cheaper ways to kill folks? Will researchers desperate for funding see the cheese but miss the trap?

    1. terre says:

      so you think the DoD should be sharing and open? I think Fox and CNN have the secret sharing covered, but I’m pretty sure that alot of advances came on the back of gov’t funding. What I wonder is how much profit sharing is going on after a stimulus grant or those handed out for innovation. For that matter, where is the outcry over sharing in the profits of companies that benefit from gov’t subsidies?

  7. I just had a piece published at 3Dprintingindustry.com (http://3dprintingindustry.com/2013/02/18/what-the-national-additive-manufacturing-innovation-institute-is-and-what-i-wish-it-was/), where I’m a contributing writer, which discusses the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, a federally funded (therefore, publicly subsidized) institute dedicated to developing 3D printing in the US. Sounds good, if you like 3D printing. But, if you like peace and are against a society that is run by the military-industrial complex, then you won’t like that NAMII is headed by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, which makes weapons for the military and helps construct drones. Also part of NAMII are companies like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, names everyone’s familiar with. Basically, the 3D printing institute is just a way for the government to pay these companies to make weapons.

    Please do me a favor and share the article, like it and +1 it and tweet it, so that the site I write for knows that it’s okay to publish tech news that isn’t strictly about cool, new gadgets and the like and that it’s okay to write about these controversial and important issues.

    Thanks so much!