All Boats Rise: Communities Accelerate Innovation in 3D Printing

By Sarah Goehrke


Joel Telling, the 3D Printing Nerd, printed this benchy using the XiP desktop 3D printer [Source: Joel Telling via Twitter]
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” a popular aphorism reminds us.

The short saying has been gaining popularity across the global 3D printing industry as we all share several common missions. The greatest of these – widespread adoption – remains a work in progress. We often hear about boats and tides because it’s an easy visual; we can even invoke the 3D printing mainstay #3DBenchy. As the tide rises, so do all boats floating on those waters. From there, the success of each vessel can be individualized based on seaworthiness and the experience of its crew. But first comes the float of the flotilla.

Making Waves

The biggest question is, perhaps, how to create the tide. How can we, collectively – if figuratively – make waves?

Industry organizations are a vital way forward, especially for a business as young as additive manufacturing. Last year, we made investments into two key memberships that represent our values and interests as we seek to help uplift the global 3D printing community. We joined the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Organization (AMGTA) and Women in 3D Printing (Wi3DP). These memberships underscore our commitments to sustainability and diversity in additive manufacturing, areas we strive to lead and hold as close core values.

Today, we announce our newest membership status, focusing on another area of industry growth: policy.

Additive Manufacturing Coalition

As the newest member of the Additive Manufacturing Coalition, we’re proud to see our logo appear alongside industry leaders – including the AMGTA and Wi3DP, as well as organizations like America Makes, research universities, and fellow OEMs. The membership of this young organization strikes the right chord to deliver on the Coalition’s mission.

“The Additive Manufacturing Coalition is a national membership organization recognized as the national voice for additive manufacturing with decision-makers and stakeholders, including federal agencies and Congress. We are committed to supporting our Members before the federal government and helping them navigate funding and legislative challenges,” the organization describes itself.

“We are dedicated to connecting our Members with the federal government. Our role will be to help the AM community navigate the complex legislative and public funding challenges that exist on Capitol Hill and across the federal agencies. This will include a significant focus on the day-to-day issues that arise. The AM Coalition is intended to help bring focus and attention to the array of issues that will ultimately arise in collaboration with the existing government affairs professionals at our members. We will also provide a mechanism for some of the smaller companies and organizations to have a seat at the table as issues and positions are devised for the community.”

There’s a lot to unpack there, and the long and short is that the US government needs a push toward recognizing all that additive manufacturing can offer. Clearly, that push is a timely one as the Biden Administration announced the AM Forward initiative just last month.

The Additive Manufacturing Coalition, for its part, has already connected members to the current White House in a closed event.

A Seat at the Table

We want a seat at that table. Our technology, our team, our unique value proposition and technological follow-through for scalable, sustainable, production-focused additive manufacturing offers what the Additive Manufacturing Coalition is looking for, and we’re delighted to sign on with them.

Further, I am personally thrilled to take the lead not only in Nexa3D’s membership, but in the Coalition, joining as a member of the first Board of Advisors.

Stepping up alongside this group of brilliant leaders from across the 3D printing world is a testament to the dedication my team and I feel toward the mission at the Additive Manufacturing Coalition and, more importantly, the future of additive manufacturing. I am delighted to accept the new role and join discussions that will not only help raise the bar for our industry but also the tide on which we all rise.

As ever, Nexa3D is committed to driving the future of additive manufacturing – directly, collaboratively, and proactively.