additive mfg

Venture-backed Relativity Space poised to disrupt US commercial spaceflight

Founded in 2015, venture-backed aerospace firm, Relativity Space, is poised to disrupt the rocket manufacturing and launch markets as it secures long-term contracts at NASA’s Stennis and Kennedy Space Centers. Relativity is reimagining the process to iterate and scale rockets quickly, relying on its revolutionary “Stargate” metal 3D printer and new autonomous facilities to build and launch rockets in days rather than years. The Mississippi Development Authority supplied the cost reimbursement and tax incentive package that, combined with a $59 million infrastructure investment from Relativity, enabled the firm to move into a 220,000 square foot facility, unused for the last 20 years, in southern Mississippi.

New program supports additive manufacturing in US Army

A new program designed to support additive manufacturing (AM) technology insertion into the existing U.S. Army supply chain could also grow the southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturing sector. Catalyst Connection, in partnership with the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and America Makes, launched AMNOW, a potentially multi-phase, multi-year contract funded by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) under the U.S. Army Futures Command. Catalyst Connection President and CEO Petra Mitchell said in a statement that the program “signifies a tremendous regional economic growth opportunity for small-to medium-sized manufactures within the SWPA region.” Catalyst Connection, a private not-for-profit organization headquartered in Pittsburgh, is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Future digital workforce needs outlined

Recognizing the growing need for a skilled workforce in the increasingly digital manufacturing sector, a new report from the public-private effort of DMDII and ManpowerGroup aims to capture the changing technology and business interactions, and the job roles that are having an impact on the sector. The year-long body of work attempts to answer, among other questions, how workforce roles and job structures flex to accelerate the succession of a transforming global economy. By defining emerging roles and skills in the digital manufacturing and design space, the authors hope industry and academia will be able to better align for training and hiring. A full copy of the report, The Digital Workforce Succession in Manufacturing is available for download from: UI LABS at

SBA Identifies 11 Barriers to Additive Manufacturing for Entrepreneurs, Small Firms

There are 11 primary barriers to the adoption of additive manufacturing by tech entrepreneurs and small high-growth firms, according to a new report from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy. These 11 barriers were identified via surveys and interviews with entrepreneurs, private industry and other participants. In addition to identifying the 11 barriers, respondents also provide best practices or recent activities around each of the identified barriers. The report also includes big ideas and recommendations for programs and policies that the federal government should consider adopting to overcome these barriers. In addition, the general recommendations include federal agency-funded, additive manufacturing pilot programs and better coordination of federal innovation initiatives. Read the report…

States, Universities Support Lean Innovation Approach Driving 3D Printing Renaissance

Industry support for additive manufacturing is exploding as startups find new ways to market the technology to businesses. States and universities are taking advantage of this growing trend to form partnerships with companies that support the lean innovation approach is driving the 3D printing renaissance.

The Democratization of Innovation: Makers Build Shared Prosperity

As the additive manufacturing (3D printing) industry rapidly matures across the country, city governments and civil society leaders are advocating for the creation of makers spaces in their communities that offer open access to 3D printing technologies. This minimal investment in community infrastructure has the potential to generate diversified sources of locally-based economic growth.

Proposals Requested for $45 Million Pilot Institute for Additive Manufacturing

Three federal agencies (Departments of Commerce, Defense and Energy) are accepting applications for the establishment of a $45 million pilot Institute for Additive Manufacturing. The federal agencies intend for the Institute for Additive Manufacturing to accelerate research, development and demonstration in additive manufacturing and transition technology to manufacturing enterprises within the United States. It will serve as a proof-of-concept for the potential subsequent institutes in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) — a network composed of up to fifteen institutes for manufacturing innovation around the country, each serving as a hub of manufacturing excellence in a specific research area.

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