The White House is throwing its weight behind 3-D printing in an impressive way. This morning, the executive branch announced a $200 million private-public partnership to create three new advanced manufacturing centers across the United States, all of which will emphasize 3-D printing and fabrication. According to Carl Franzen at The Verge, the centers are modeled on an existing 3-D-printing center in Ohio.
Two of the three institutes will operate under the aegis of the Defense Department, while the other institute will be operated by the Energy Department. Each of the centers is designed to be “regional hubs” that will connect manufacturers and developers with federal agencies, buyers, universities, and community colleges.
While 3-D printing is the darling of the tech press lately thanks to innovations such as 3-D-printed handguns and 3-D-printed human organ tissue, it also has transformative potential for American industry. The shift from mass-produced factory goods to the small-scale fabrication of 3-D printing for certain luxury goods could cause a boom for advanced manufacturing in the United States.