Potomac Photonics Embraces the Digital Manufacturing Revolution

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President Obama focused on advanced manufacturing technologies, such as those used at Potomac Photonics, during his State of the Union Address.

3D Systems Projet 3000 3D Printer

3D Systems Projet 3000 3D Printer

While 3D printing is not the only methodology utilized in the digital fabrication revolution, it has, through its accessibility, opened the eyes of leaders and consumers to the possibilities that exist.

Microfabrication experts at Potomac Photonics were excited to hear President Obama discuss 3D printing in his State of the Union address. Two major points jump out at those in the trenches using the new technologies to fabricate parts. First, while 3D printing is the media buzzword of the moment, the powerful additive manufacturing process is just one tool that turns CAD files to products.

Digital fabrication on the other hand is a revolution in manufacturing. Everything from laser cutters and markers, milling and routing machines, and yes, 3D Printers, can take a concept in the form of a CAD [computer-aided-design] file and produce it on the spot.

The second point is President Obama’s comment, quoted from the New York Times, that “A once-shuttered warehouse is 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. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns.” While Potomac Photonics has been both seeing and driving this growing trend over the past several years, they are pleased that the technologies, along with a necessary break from traditional manufacturing models, are not only being recognized by government leaders, but are also being embraced by them.

While 3D printing is not the only methodology utilized in the digital fabrication revolution, it has, through its accessibility, opened the eyes of leaders and consumers to the possibilities that exist. Electricity didn’t find its way into every home until the light bulb showed the way. Those who have been participating in this manufacturing revolution steadfastly over the years are glad to have found their light bulb in 3D printing. Now it is time to change how people think about manufacturing, and truly begin to work outside of the box.

About Potomac Photonics
Potomac Photonics, Inc. has embraced digital manufacturing for many years in our laser and CNC micromachining work for customers across industries. In recent years, we’ve added professional-grade, high-resolution 3D printers from 3D Systems Corporation to our mix of tools, adding to the kinds of solutions we are able to bring to our customers. Our customers are in varied fields including medical devices, microfluidics, microelectronics, sensors, food, and consumer goods, among others. American companies like Potomac, are already leading the digital manufacturing revolution called for by President Obama, and could not be happier to have gained the attention and support of government leaders. To see examples of our recent work, go to the Gallery at http://www.potomac-laser.com.

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Mike Adelstein
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