Tag Archives: National Science Foundation

Obama Announces $200 Million Program for 3D Printing and Innovation

Obama 3D printing

President Obama Sees 3D Printed Future

The White House has announced a new program to create three new manufacturing innovation institutes, funding it with $200 million from the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. 3D printing is a key focus of the program.

Back in February, Obama called 3D printing a “revolutionary” technology in his State of the Union address, describing NAMII, the recipient of a $30 million Federal grant as “a once-shuttered warehouse [and] now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.”

Why 3D Printing?

In the White House press release, some example uses of 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, are presented.

The Department of Defense envisions customizing parts on site for operational systems that would otherwise be expensive to make or ship. The Department of Energy anticipates that additive processes would be able to save more than 50% energy use compared to today’s ‘subtractive’ manufacturing processes.

Read the full announcement at whitehouse.gov.

MIT Scientists Putting $10 Million Grant Toward 3D Printed Robots

Researchers from MIT are embarking on a mission to ”make it possible for the average person to design, customize and print a specialized robot in a matter of hours.”

With a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation, collaborators from MIT, Harvard and UPenn are hoping to “democratize access to robots” within 5 years.

The Potential Impact? 

Disposable, “origami-esque” robots could be printed on demand and programmed to perform tasks, from getting into hard-to-reach places to cleaning unsanitary surfaces and beyond. The goal of this research is to make robots accessible to everyone, thereby inspiring a new wave of technological innovation applied to real world challenges.

Below is a video of some of the prototype robots that have been built.

Read more at Wired.