by General Fabb
During last night's annual State of the Union address, US President Obama actually mentioned 3D printing and positioned it as one of his key strategies for reinvigorating the US manufacturing industry.
Specifically, he's extending the experiment begun at the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute experiment, launched in August 2012. This institute attempts to speed adoption of new manufacturing technologies and consequently beef up the US economy.
There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3-D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There's no reason this can't happen in other towns.So tonight, I'm announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.And I ask this Congress to help create a network of 15 of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made right here in America. We can get that done.
It seems that the NAMII experiment was sufficiently successful to warrant a rather large expansion. Three similar labs will be launched, followed by another eleven to create Obama's 15 node 3D printing network.
This is a very bold step and recognizes the incredible potential of 3D printing technology. Not only will the lab network vastly increase the knowledge of and access to 3D printing over the long term, but Obama's mere mention of 3D printing in what could be the most widely listened to public speeches will cause many people to discover 3D printing for the first time. Already we're seeing small boosts in the stock prices of 3D Systems, Stratasys and ExOne today.