Youngstown, Ohio-based America Makes (also known as the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute) is the flagship institute of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The organization is a partnership among both public and private entities representing workforce development resources, academia, industry, government, and non-government agencies. The initiative began in 2012 with the mission to increase global manufacturing competitiveness through Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing technologies, and it has been evolving as a key organization representing partnerships between government and private AM and 3D printing sectors. In fact, America Makes includes five government agencies: NASA, the Departments of Energy, Commerce, and Defense, and the National Science Foundation.
With its expansive reach across all sectors of the AM and 3D printing industries, America Makes holds an important position regarding the future of these technologies. In efforts to boost collaborative efforts across the Additive Manufacturing (AM) industry, America Makes is offering a new resource for its members. This is a “Capabilities Database” — a members-only searchable directory that details each member’s specific capabilities.
How will such a resource benefit the AM industry? Deputy Director of Technology Transition, Dr. Kevin Creehan, emphasizes open information and research exchange as a key mission of the new project:
“One of the key tenants of America Makes is to foster a highly collaborative infrastructure for the open exchange of AM information and research. With the new Capabilities Database, we are enabling our membership community to even more rapidly forge productive partnerships that maximize resources and knowledge and yield real, game-changing innovations for the AM industry.”
America Makes membership Director and Project Coordinator, Tiffany Westbay, summarizes how America Makes is the only current U.S.-based AM organization that has the resources to support a networking effort among vendors and customers across the industry. This is a unique position to play for an AM organization:
“Currently, no single AM organization has the resources or the partnerships that America Makes has to innovate and accelerate AM to increase our nation’s global manufacturing competitiveness. This week’s launch of the new America Makes Capabilities Database is another significant addition to the invaluable resources exclusively available to our members.”
America Makes also reports that over time the Capabilities Database will evolve to provide a sortable and searchable comprehensive view of the AM supply chain, including a direct link to the searchable Senvol® Database, which follows industrial AM machines and materials. In other words, eventually, the America Makes Capabilities Database will provide data about non-members, but remain a members-only privilege as well.
Not a member yet, but considering joining to receive the benefits? You can check out the membership information here. The database is an important added benefit that can help you in all of your organization’s AM and 3D printing endeavors.
Let’s hear your thoughts on this new initiative. Discuss in the Capabilities Database forum thread on 3DPB.com.