Maryland celebrates region's selection as additive manufacturing center

Aberdeen, Maryland becomes the hub for a major additive manufacturing initiative.

Aberdeen, Maryland becomes the hub for a major additive manufacturing initiative, leading to unprecedented speed in parts production, new weapon system design and materials, dramatic cuts in costs and delivery times, and point-of-need part manufacturing.

The Advanced Manufacturing, Materials, and Processes (AMMP) program "brings together industry, academia, and government to advance, refine, and transition scientific breakthroughs in materials and machinery," according to Lisa Strama, president and CEO of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS; Ann Arbor, MI). NCMS is launching the program in conjunction with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL; Adelphi, MD), top U.S. manufacturers, and several leading universities.

Strama addressed a group of about 150 government, academic, and manufacturing industry members and area dignitaries, including Chuck Hull, the recognized "father of 3D printing."

The group's shared vision is to revolutionize defense logistics and strengthen the global competitiveness of the nation's maker base through next-generation manufacturing prowess. Several other details about the AMMP Program emerged during the event, including an overview of the NCMS working model, the formation of an AMMP Technology Advisory Board (TAB), and the appointment of Dr. Cosima Boswell-Koller as senior project manager and technical lead.

Strama and Boswell-Koller are spearheading the TAB, saying its mission is to provide integrated executive direction and business-centered guidance in keeping with the overarching goals of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) and ARL. TAB leadership will be determined by nominations received from AMMP member organizations, with subcommittees planned for the near future.

"The AMMP Program is enjoying a lot of early momentum," Boswell-Koller says. "There are several new project calls, awards, and kickoffs well underway, and our membership base is growing rapidly." A total of eight additive manufacturing projects have been awarded to date in keeping with the ARL's essential science and technology, feedstock, and prototyping areas of focus.

In addition to additive manufacturing, NCMS has long-standing success working with world-class companies of all sizes to advance innovative technologies in several more strategically critical areas, including digital manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cybersecurity, automation, robotics, maintenance, sustainment, and quality.

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