A D V A N C E D M A T E R I A L S & P R O C E S S E S | O C T O B E R 2 0 2 0 2 3 This reaction also exposed substantive challenges related to design validation (i.e., will it work?), IP and legal consid- erations (i.e., who owns the rights to it?), and the real demand for product (i.e., how do we get product to those in need?) that created friction in product delivery and implementation. COORDINATION OF EFFORTS America Makes quickly recognized the importance of coordinating these efforts, collaborating with the Depart- ment of Veterans Affairs (VA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), andNational Institutes of Health (NIH) (see Fig. 1) to mobilize the AM community to address medical equipment shortages. With their privileged position as a public-pri- vate partnership institute, they were able to effectively engage with both Federal agencies and industry partners. America Makes collected informa- tion from engineers with novel designs, manufacturers capable of producing those designs, and demand require- ments from those requesting the supply of PPE. Designs were printed and test- ed by the VA, and once reviewed, would be submitted onto the NIH model re- pository, where manufacturers could download the designs with appropri- ate use designations to produce. Within ten days, the effort had registered more than 400 manufacturers, with capacity to deliver 100,000 PPE items weekly. By June 2020, America Makes had facilitat- ed connections resulting in delivery of more than 287,000 VA-reviewed medi- cal components to those in need. ENDURING INFRASTRUCTURE America Makes’ long-term goal is to use AM technologies to build an adaptable resource and reimagine the national stockpile to address future needs. During the 2020 pandemic, AM supplemented conventional manufac- turing to create hybrid supply chains within the U.S., enabling higher effi- ciencies and identifying a unique value proposition for AM technologies. With new members from diverse fields such as healthcare and law enforcement, America Makes created a singular nar- rative to communicate the value of AM, Fig. 2 — America Makes Satellite Center. ABOUT AMERICA MAKES America Makes is the nation’s leading public-private partnership for AM technology and education. Mem- bers from industry, academia, govern- ment, and workforce and economic development organizations, work to- gether to accelerate the adoption of AM and the nation’s global manufac- turing competitiveness. and how individual engineers could play an important role in addressing the PPE shortage. As the AMCPR effort continues to evolve, it will make use of the con- stellation of America Makes Satellite Centers (AMSCs) at the University of Texas-El Paso, Wichita State, and Texas A&M, along with other members of the AMCPR stakeholder community, to in- crease the manufacturing community’s ability to address the point-of-need de- mand. AMSCs’ extensive AM capabilities include a wide variety of assets, leading AM experts, industry and government partners, and relationships at top-tier research institutions, facilitating rapid testing and iteration. At the heart of the AMCPR effort will be a digitally distrib- uted manufacturing network that seeks to reduce regulatory and economic bar- riers to production, especially for small and medium sized enterprises. STRATEGIC RESERVES TheCOVID-19pandemic has demon- strated that maintaining a stockpile of critical equipment is not trivial. It can- not be known what the next event will look like, when it will occur, or what the associated needs will be. Furthermore, degradation of materials over time can lead to dangerous failures, and logisti- cal challenges of equipment delivery can cause fatal delays. A transforma- tional strategy will include a repository of designs and member networks, in- stead of physical products. The digital stockpile of vetted parts will better pre- pare and mitigate the impact of future crises on the nation. It will require re- consideration of what critical supplies are, and include warehousing of raw ma- terials and feedstocks, which have their own shelf life and degrade over time. IMPACT ON AM COMMUNITY The AM community’s dedication in reacting to the pandemic demon- strates the adaptability and innovation within the industry. The rapid response, flexibility of design and materials, along with the distribution of capacity, uniquely positions AM as the solution to meet urgent regional needs. The re- sources and networks being built will serve as a foundation to validate indus- try-recognized credentials to develop a robust AM workforce, along with in- creased awareness and understanding of a technology which is still novel to much of the public. The launch of the AMCPR is Amer- ica Makes’ effort to create a central re- source to coordinate the domestic additive manufacturing ecosystem, re- spond to critical manufacturing needs, and enable delivery of safe, effective products. This effort represents a crit- ical step forward for the United States in its ability to maintain and enhance the health and economic security of the country. ~AM&P Lead image: 2019-nCoV spike protein, courtesy of Jason McLellan/University of Texas at Austin. For more information: Alexander Steeb, director of operations, Amer- ica Makes, 236 W. Boardman St., Youngstown, OH 44503, 330.622.4299, alexander.steeb@ncdmm.org, america makes.us.