New: Whitmer announces expansion of 3D printer network supporting small manufacturers

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks with Michigan Advance at the Michigan Governor's Summer Residence on May 28, 2024 during the Mackinac Policy Conference. (Photo: Anna Liz Nichols)

In an effort to support the “infrastructure of innovation,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the Advance that she is committing to a shared network of 3D printers in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.  

Project DIAMOnD, which stands for Distributed, Independent, Agile Manufacturing on Demand, was kickstarted in 2020 by Automation Alley, a tech business association. According to its website, the project was created with funding support from Oakland County to provide manufacturers access to 3D printing and training. 

“Project DIAMOnD was inspired during the dark days of COVID, born out of frustration about supply chain issues and dependency on overseas manufacturing,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said.

“It is giving Oakland County businesses access to 3D printing technology and training that is allowing them to dramatically cut production time and costs as well as keep manufacturing right here in Michigan. After our initial investment of $25 million over two phases, we are thrilled that Macomb, Wayne, and the State of Michigan are joining the program to make it a regional and statewide priority — and an opportunity for global competitiveness” Coulter said. 

According to the governor’s office, the goal is to expand the project into all of Michigan’s 83 counties. 

“Today’s commitment by Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties to expand Automation Alley’s Project DIAMOnD will help us grow our economy, lower costs for small businesses, and build out the ‘Infrastructure for Innovation’ we need to lead the future,” Whitmer said. 

“At this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, I am focused on unleashing Michigan innovation to solve some of the biggest problems we face and grow the cutting-edge industries that will help us lead the future while recruiting and retaining top talent to Michigan,” Whitmer said. “Together, we will continue bringing public and private sector partners together to help local entrepreneurs and small businesses compete on a global scale.”

According to the governor’s office, this effort is part of the governor’s push to support the expansion of small businesses in the state through shared technology and resources. The expansion is expected to help more than 9,100 small manufacturers across the three counties lower costs and increase their production efficiency.

The post New: Whitmer announces expansion of 3D printer network supporting small manufacturers  appeared first on Michigan Advance.