President Barack Obama believes 3D Printing can play a role in strengthening his country’s manufacturing, scientific, defence and energy sectors. He also thinks may be able to play a role with NASA.
As reported in Computerworld, Obama has initiated a $US200 million federally funded competition to create three manufacturing institutes across five federal agencies – defence, energy, commerce, NASA and the National Science Foundation.
The White House press secretary said in a statement that the competition is part of a broader $US1 billion effort by the Obama administration to reinvest in manufacturing.
The three institutes would be regional hubs where students, educational institutions, industry, and individuals could test and pilot new products and 3D manufacturing processes.
The competition will select the institutes through a process led by the departments of Energy and defence and it will focus on digital manufacturing and design innovation; lightweight and modern metals manufacturing; and next-generation power electronics.
Meanwhile, the SMH reports that computer files to create a handgun almost entirely from parts made with a 3D printer have been posted online.
The files were posted by Defence Distributed, a non-profit group that promotes the open-source development of firearms using 3D printers.
This development has caused alarm among gun control advocates in the US, such as Senator Charles Schumer of New York.
"Now anyone – a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon – can essentially open a gun factory in their garage. It must be stopped," Schumer said.