3D printing included in updated White House list of critical and emerging technologies

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The White House has included additive manufacturing in its updated list of critical and emerging technologies that are important to US national security.

The document builds on the White House’s October 2020 National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies released by then-President Donald Trump, and will inform an upcoming strategy on technology competitiveness and national security of United States, in addition to potentially informing future efforts to prioritize named technologies.

The list was compiled by the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) through a deliberative process involving the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the National Security Council (NSC).

The White House has updated its list of critical and emerging technologies.

Identify critical and emerging technologies

While the updated list should not be construed as a priority list for policy development or funding, it does provide a telling indication of the areas the United States is focusing on to strengthen its national security. U.S. departments and agencies may also consult the list when developing research and technology development initiatives that support national security missions.

To create the list, an NSTC subcommittee was formed of 18 subject matter experts from government departments, agencies and offices who identified critical and emerging technology sub-areas that could be critical to national security. of the United States in a year.

One of the sub-areas identified was advanced manufacturing, with additive manufacturing being named under this heading. Sustainable manufacturing, smart manufacturing and nano-manufacturing were also included under advanced manufacturing.

Not only has additive manufacturing been included in the list in its own right, but it also contributes to several other emerging technology areas identified in the document, such as advanced engineering materials, autonomous systems and robotics, biotechnologies, communication technologies, renewable energy production and storage, space systems, semiconductors and microelectronics.

While the deployment of 3D printing in some of these areas is still in its infancy, the technology holds promise for a wide range of applications and R&D opportunities in many identified areas. The inclusion of additive manufacturing in the document, along with the identification of the technology areas mentioned above, indicates the technology’s growing potential to help the United States achieve its national security goals.

ExOne's portable 3D printing factory.  Image via ExOne.
ExOne’s portable 3D printing factory. Image via ExOne.

Strengthening US National Security with 3D Printing

In February of last year, the US Department of Defense (DoD) unveiled its first official additive manufacturing strategy which aims to establish a common vision for the use of 3D printing within the defense program of the country. Despite cybersecurity concerns raised by an independent watchdog, the DoD plans to deploy 3D printing across the country’s military, noting in particular the technology’s potential to bolster military supply chains. its armed forces.

Last year, binder-jet 3D printer maker ExOne also won a $1.6 million contract to develop a portable 3D printing facility for the DoD, which could provide parts production capabilities. spare to troops in the field. Shortly thereafter, additive manufacturing data specialist Senvol received a new round of funding from the DoD to develop its machine learning software Senvol ML, and has already been awarded a contract to design and qualify 3D printed components for use on missiles.

Meanwhile, in October, industrial 3D printer maker Stratasys developed its new data security platform, ProtectAM, specifically designed to improve 3D printing cybersecurity for US government and critical defense applications. . The company also won a $20 million contract to supply the U.S. Navy with up to 25 F900 3D printers over the next five years in a bid to shorten the military’s supply chains and provide it with improved aircraft repair capabilities.

Just last week, producer of particle-free metallic inks Electroninks received an investment from In-Q-Tel, the CIA-founded strategic investment arm of the US intelligence community, which will help the company to supply its particle-free conductive inks on a large scale to its government and commercial partners. With a previous DoD contract already under its belt, the company’s electronic 3D printing capabilities have clearly caught the attention of the department, which is providing up to $154 million in investment elsewhere to fund the development of the device. 3D printed electronics to support military operations.

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Featured image shows The White House has updated its list of critical and emerging technologies.

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