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3-D printing plant for military weapons opens in Aberdeen

Posted at 9:20 AM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 17:53:42-04

A new 3-D printing plant for military weapons has found a home in Maryland, specifically Harford County. 

The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) is launching its advanced manufacturing materials and processes program on Wednesday near the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. 

The new center is hopefully the beginning of a technology takeover in the Harford County area. The goal is to create 3-D printing technology that is not normally seen in the field to enhance solder readiness. 

“Additive manufacturing can provide increased speed and production, dramatic cuts and costs in delivery times, as well as point of need production. So our soldiers are going to be able to print parts and print materials in place, rather than having to wait on a supply chain, which is really beneficial to them,” explained Casema Boswell-Koller, the Senior Project Manager for NCMS. 

This is a joint effort led by the NCMS along with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, U.S. manufacturers, and several universities.

Boswell-Koller says NCMS wants to make sure U.S. manufacturers can compete in a global market, and this center is part of that goal. 

“At NCMS we believe that innovation happens at the intersection of talent, infrastructure, and investment which makes Hartford County and Aberdeen Proving Grounds ideal location for this program,” Boswell-Koller said. 

And she is not the only one at NCMS who feels that way about Aberdeen.

“Aberdeen is really a great place. It is really a Mecca of being able to bring the industry and government, as well as the academics, together in this location. We are located close the ARL, the Army Research Laboratory, we have had a lot of resources, and we have had a lot of support out of the local government and state government of Maryland,” explained NCMS President and CEO Lisa Strama. 

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman says he is hoping the 3-D printing plan will create a tech triangle, bringing in other businesses in the private sector and making this move a multi-million dollar investment for the community.

“It’s really a landmark day for Harford County," said Glassman. "Aberdeen Proving Grounds has been in the county for over 100 years, and today will mark one of the first times we’ve been able to bring that research, the army research lab, these national contractors, and higher education institutions off the Aberdeen Proving Ground and out to the private sector of the county.”

There will be an official launch on Friday morning from 8 to 10 a.m. at 1201 Technology Drive in Aberdeen.