Additive Manufacturing Media Creates Interactive Tool to Help Fill Supply Chain Gaps from Coronavirus

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New Map of 3D Printing Services Helps Support Manufacturers During COVID-19 Crisis

To make a part, a 3D printer needs only the design file and the right material

Additive Manufacturing Media has created an interactive tool to help U.S. manufacturers fill the gaps in their supply chain as COVID-19 shutdowns continue. The custom Google map shows the locations, capabilities and contact information for industrial 3D printing service bureaus who are open for business.

Additive manufacturing is the industrial application of 3D printing technology, which creates parts by adding layers of material on top of each other. Manufacturers only need to send a file (which can cross borders easily) to make a part. The design of a 3D printed part may differ from one meant to be machined, injection molded, cast or made with another conventional process, but its functionality can remain the same. More importantly, 3D printing can be a speedy, local solution to potential supply chain gaps.

The map began as a list of 3D printing facilities that had registered with Additive Manufacturing Media, but has grown greatly in the last few weeks. Companies with available additive manufacturing bandwidth can now add themselves to the service and the map updates daily with new suppliers.

“To make a part, a 3D printer needs only the design file and the right material,” says Senior Editor Stephanie Hendrixson. “Additive manufacturers already know this. But as we began to report on the supply chain implications of coronavirus it struck me that many more companies might not be aware that 3D printing could be a solution, or know where to find a service bureau even if they did. The map is a way to help those companies locate 3D printing experts nearby and get the parts, tools, molds, and other items they may need made quickly.”

The map is intended to help U.S. companies who need parts or tooling to carry on with business. Many of the service bureaus listed have design expertise, reverse engineering capability, inspection technologies and postprocessing equipment in addition to 3D printing capacity. Companies are encouraged to use the map as a resource, and to reach out to their local service providers to begin conversations about making needed items additively.

The map is available here:

About Additive Manufacturing Media:
Additive Manufacturing Media produces a bi-monthly magazine, website, video series and events devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing technology. The focus is on the ways manufacturers are using this technology to make tooling, molds, functional prototypes and end-use production parts in a range of industry sectors.

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Stephanie Hendrixson
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