The Role of the National Science Foundation in the Origin and Evolution of Additive Manufacturing in the United States

Additive manufacturing (AM) is growing rapidly as a field of research, as well as an emerging technology with the potential to revolutionize manufacturing. Firms in the United States are a dominant player in the field, selling over 70% of the professional grade
machines to date. This is a fitting time to look at the evolution of the field with a critical eye toward determining the roles of various institutions—public funders, private entrepreneurs and inventors, universities, and others—in its development. Accordingly, the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) asked the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) to examine the role of NSF and other U.S. Government agencies in the development and commercialization of AM within the United States. Ultimately, the goal was to discover what lessons can be learned about identifying, nurturing, and promoting emerging science and engineering at NSF.

Author(s): Christopher L. Weber, Vanessa Peña, Maxwell K. Micali, Elmer Yglesias, Sally A. Rood, Justin A. Scott, and Bhavya Lal
Organization: Institute for Defense Analyses – Science and Technology Policy Institute
Source: Institute for Defense Analyses
Year: 2013

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