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3D PRINTING


been downright ugly. Do not let low stock values fool you. When looking at almost everything else associated with AM, it is not diffi cult to become ecstatic about where it’s headed.


Investments Abound


Many organizations worldwide are betting, some big, with their pocketbooks. For example, it was announced early last year that $259 million would be spent to create the Insti- tute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, a public–private partnership project aimed at developing East Tennessee into an AM hub. The Department of Energy has committed $70 million, and the remainder is coming from a consortium of 122 companies and universities. In September 2015, Alcoa announced that it would spend $60 million to expand an R&D center to include the develop- ment of AM methods and materials. The following month, the state of New York said it would invest $125 million in a 3D printing facility that would operate as a public–private part- nership. Norsk Titanium of Norway is its primary partner.


In January 2016, Stryker announced that it would spend nearly $400 million to build a facility for the production of titanium orthopedic implants by AM. The following month, Siemens announced that it is investing €21.4 million to open a metal 3D printing facility in Sweden. The same month, UK-based materials developer Metalysis received £20 million (about $28.4 million) to drive growth and com- mercialization of metal powders such as titanium, bespoke alloys, and tantalum for 3D printing.


Last year, 62 manufacturers worldwide produced and sold industrial-grade AM systems, up from 49 in 2014.


125,000 ft2


In the fi rst quarter of 2016, GE opened a $32 million, (11,613 m2


) AM R&D center in Pittsburgh, PA,


called the Center for Additive Manufacturing Advancement. The site will serve as a testing ground for many of GE’s businesses. In December 2015, GE Aviation an- nounced that it had begun the production of the well- known fuel nozzle by AM. The nozzle is being installed on the LEAP engine, which will begin service this year. The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, also known as America Makes, entered 2016 in full stride. According to Ed Morris, director of the institute, 163 organizations across the US had become members as of February 2016. This is up from 120 members a year earlier. The public–private partnership, focused exclusively on AM, had more than $87 million in AM research and development projects underway with 150 engaged partners. A project call by America Makes in March has expanded the funding by about $10 million.


New Players and Machines Ricoh AM S5500P laser sintering machine. 46 AdvancedManufacturing.org | May 2016


A staggering number of companies are entering the AM industry. At the Inside 3D Printing event in Santa Clara, CA, in October 2015, we counted no fewer than 25 new companies that displayed AM products and/ or services. Many companies worldwide are offering industrial-grade AM systems (those that sell for $5000 or more), although relatively few of them participated in the event. Last year, 62 manufacturers from around the world produced and sold industrial-grade AM systems,


Photo courtesy Ricoh


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