Markforged provides 3D Printers for Project DIAMOnD
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, additive manufacturing has played a critical role in filling gaps in the medical supply chain, notably in creating PPE and other medical equipment for those on the frontlines to use to save lives. Markforged is continuing this work through their recent distribution of 3D printers to Project DIAMOnD participants Michigan. Project DIAMOnD is a project created by Automation Alley, through the World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB), to help bring manufacturing in Michigan into the age of Industry 4.0 (also known as the 4th Industrial Revolution). This program is proving to be especially important to the region as it is developing solutions to PPE shortages and other issues caused by the ongoing crisis through the use of additive manufacturing.
Project DIAMOnD and Markforged
The Project DIAMOnD (Distributed, Independent, Agile, Manufacturing On-Demand) program was created to address the manufacturing needs of the Oakland and Macomb counties in Michigan in response to Covid 19, notably increasing manufacturing agility and responding to disruptions to the supply chain. Michael Kelly, Director of Print System Engineering at Markforge, explains, “Michigan-based Automation Alley [is] poised to run the world’s largest emergency response network capable of producing physical objects on demand”
Already the project is moving forward, Markforged has distributed the first wave of 3D printers to project participants in the region. As of now, more than 200 participants have received their 3D printers and can start producing PPE for the region. One project participant, Custom Valve Concepts (CVC), a liquid and gas product manufacturer for brands like Nestle and GE, is already seeing possible applications for 3D Printing in their company. They are planning to use the printer to support local frontline workers by producing not just PPE, but also tooling and fixtures. CVC sees these printers not only as a way to help combat challenges of the pandemic, but to print additive manufacturing into their company. Michael Tor, Associate Engineer at CVC, stated “This project provides an avenue for Custom Valve Concepts to utilize its abilities to help those in our community and has helped kickstart our goal of introducing additive manufacturing into the company.”
Markforged, known for their Digital Forge printer and use of metal and carbon fiber in the additive manufacturing process, are no strangers to the benefits of 3D printing in industrial manufacturing. With their goal of making additive manufacturing more accessible to people and industries, their participation in Project DIAMOnD is perhaps not a surprise. Kelly stated, “Project DIAMOnD and the participating manufacturers are bringing the true promise of the Digital Forge to life.” If you are interested in learning more about Markforged, you can go to their website HERE.
What do you think about Project DIAMOnD? Do you know of other ways that 3D printing companies have helped address problems related to Covid-19? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox!
*Thumbnail photo credits: Markforged