ASME Hosts Congressional Briefing in Additive Manufacturing

May 3, 2019

by ASME.org

ASME recently sponsored a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill titled, “Producing Parts with 3D Printing: How Innovations in Additive Manufacturing are Being Deployed Across the U.S. Supply Chain.” The briefing was hosted by the House Manufacturing Caucus, and both Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), attended the event. Both Members of Congress delivered remarks, sharing with the audience how Congress is engaged in promoting innovation by creating better policy environments that allow for the development of advanced manufacturing processes—such as 3D printing—to flourish in the United States.

ASME President Said Jahanmir delivered opening remarks, commenting that additive manufacturing, once an emerging technology, is now being used in manufacturing environments across the United States and around the globe. Better known as “3D printing,” Dr. Jahanmir noted that this new technique allows manufactures to create products by adding material rather than subtracting it, enabling the manufacturing of next-generation products with geometries and materials that would not have been viable just a few years ago.

During the event, a panel of experts shared their insights on how additive manufacturing is being used today and how it is changing the manufacturing industry. Dr. Tom Kurfess, Chief Manufacturing Officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Co-Chair of the ASME Manufacturing Public Policy Task Force, spoke about the digital transformation of manufacturing that is being brought about by the adoption of additive processes. Through his presentation he showed how new, additive manufacturing techniques are being used together with traditional, subtractive manufacturing techniques to build better products, commenting that using robots in this processes is further enabling new designs. Before wrapping up, Dr. Kurfess turned his attention to workforce training, suggesting that there needs to be a focused effort on leverage these capabilities to spur further innovation and get those innovations into the marketplace.

Next, Mr. Michael Raphael, the founder and CEO of Direct Dimensions, a “one-stop shop” for 3D technical services, spoke about how his company is using 3D scanning and imaging to solve important issues. During his talk, Mr. Raphael passed actual products around the room for the audience to hold and see. Mr. Raphael provided the audience with many examples of how 3D scanning has allowed for better optimization of the manufacturing process in everything from consumer products, to medical equipment, facility organization, infrastructure optimization, and beyond.

The final panelist to speak was Mr. Rob Gorham, Executive Director of America Makes, the first of the now 14 Manufacturing USA Institutes. Mr. Gorham was able to relate how the technological advances shared by Dr. Kurfess and Mr. Raphael are increasing opportunities for domestic manufacturing in the United States. Mr. Gorham spoke about how the future of 3D printing is not just in one-off parts, but in integrating the technology into systems-level thinking, sharing that America Makes is working to bring the 3D printing ecosystem together to address manufacturing challenges.

To view a recorded video of the briefing, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNe3urEiUE8.