Greetings from ASTRO!

In today’s issue:

  • ASTRO Joins Sen. Durbin, Rep. Bustos in Rock Island
  • ASTRO Recognizes Durbin, Bustos for Dedication to Advanced Manufacturing
  • Newsweek – 3D Printing Will Strengthen America’s Security in the Indo-Pacific
  • ASTRO to Host Workshop in Guam
  • 3DPOD Episode 125: 3D Printing Hypersonics with Neal Orringer, ASTRO America
  • Mark Your Calendar!


ASTRO Joins U.S. Senator Durbin, U.S. Representative Bustos in Rock Island to Celebrate Progress on World’s Largest Metal 3D Printer

ASTRO joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos at the Rock Island Arsenal to commemorate the future site of the world’s largest 3D metal printer and to celebrate the machine’s progress and development as a critical tool for sustaining military readiness.

Great coverage of the event included a piece from titled, “Rock Island Arsenal to House Largest Metal 3D Printer in the World,” a piece by NPR’s affiliate WVIK titled, “Bustos and Durbin Visit Arsenal to Commemorate ‘The World’s Largest Metal 3D Printer’,” and more.

Local ABC affiliate WQAD8 attended the event and described the technology and what it means for the military in a piece titled, “The world’s largest 3D metal printer is coming to the Rock Island Arsenal.”

From the piece:

United States Army Commanding General Darren Werner described how this tool will take manufacturing to the next level.

“It’s creating an opportunity for us to build things that we’ve never been able to build before,” he said.

The goal of the new machinery is to better protect soldiers in combat.

Sen. Dick Durbin gave remarks at the unveiling and emphasized that the new machine will help the future of our military.

“We are riding the wave of the future,” Sen. Durbin said. “It’s no longer the past which we’re focused on, and I believe that this is just the beginning, that we’re going to see more and more commitments here.”


Grace Kinnicutt with the Quad City Time also covered the event in a piece titled, “Rock Island Arsenal to become home to world’s largest 3D printer in Spring 2023.”

From the piece:

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, said the 3D printer was all about the future and that the printer would help prevent weak points in the welds or joints and create the next-generation combat vehicle.

“This is all about the future — the Arsenal is all about the future,” Bustos said.

The printer will be tested in Rockford in early December before it’s disassembled and brought to the Arsenal. It will be reassembled and proved out at the Arsenal in April with plans for it to be fully operational in May.

The multi-million dollar printer is being manufactured by ASTRO America in partnership with subcontractors Ingersoll Machine Tool in Rockford.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said though he didn’t know much about science with being a liberal arts lawyer, the printer was an “evolution” and demonstrated the future toward modernization.


ASTRO Recognizes Durbin, Bustos for Dedication to Advanced Manufacturing

At the event in Rock Island, recognized U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos for their dedication to advancing manufacturing at Rock Island Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center (RIA-JMTC) this week. Specifically, ASTRO thanked the lawmakers for their role in delivering the world’s largest metal 3D printer to RIA-JTMC, presenting each with a 3D printed commemorative replica of the printer.

The two legislators are known for their shared commitment to job creation and advanced technology in Illinois. Together, they have championed establishing the Army’s Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence at Rock Island Arsenal and key innovations in additive manufacturing, bringing more than $1 billion to support programming conducted out of RIA.

Neal Orringer, President of ASTRO America said, “Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Bustos clearly recognize the opportunity that exists for the Department of Defense and the larger Quad Cities community with 3D printing technology. We are grateful for their leadership and are excited to partner with the Army in helping build an ecosystem that supports U.S. competitiveness and sustain long term economic growth across the region.”

ASTRO America was recently awarded a contract agreement by the Army to support research and development in advanced and additive manufacturing at GVSC, RIA-JMTC, and across the Defense industrial base. Subsequent projects initiated under this agreement will transform the way vehicles are built for the military while reducing supply chain fragility.

RFPs for the P01 under the ASTRO OTA were due October 18 and ASTRO will soon announce award recipients.

Follow us on Twitter for updates.


Newsweek – 3D Printing Will Strengthen America’s Security in the Indo-Pacific

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and ASTRO CEO Neal Orringer teamed up to write a column for Newsweek discussing the new Guam Accelerator project titled, “3D Printing Will Strengthen America’s Security in the Indo-Pacific.”

The piece describes the role Guam plays in the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy and supply chain challenges that exist:

A key staging area for United States forces since 1898, managing logistics and critical spare part supplies is a complex enterprise. Never mind these supplies support maintenance of the world’s most sophisticated products, including ships, aircraft, automobiles, energy generators, and medical devices—both for Defense and civilian users alike. Many of the planes and submarines stationed in Guam are decades old, making it all the more challenging to find reliable sources of spare parts to maximize U.S. force readiness. According to McKinsey & Company, the average aerospace company relies on 200 main suppliers, who in turn rely on parts from over 12,000 smaller vendors. Today, this means when a part breaks down, it can take several months if not years to requisition new repairs—often at distances 10,000 miles away from where these parts are needed.

Gov. Guerrero, GEDA, and ASTRO have been working together to see if it’s possible to develop a manufacturing industry to alleviate some of these challenges – that would “open up this industry to be able to provide the parts … for the vessels. That way, it will be a little more cost-effective for the military and quick in response to the supplies,” Gov. Guerrero has said. “It’ll create jobs for our people.”

From the piece:

Guam does not currently have a significant manufacturing industry. But with appropriate investments in science, technology, and engineering, we could see the island printing its own parts, eventually growing its own capabilities to repair and upgrade critical infrastructure needed to keep the region—and America—safe. This investment creates a new generation of engineers, technicians, and designers that will one day build parts on-demand and help address a critical supply chain crisis in the most strategic corner of the world.

The feasibility study is currently underway by ASTRO America, with the focus of establishing a manufacturing facility on Guam. ASTRO is currently planning a workshop event scheduled for November 17th in Guam to support the effort.

Read the Newsweek column here.


Follow us on Twitter for updates on the project and the Guam Accelerator workshop.


ASTRO to Host Workshop in Guam

As part of our research, we are holding a workshop November 17, 2022 to gain insights into prospective demand as well as critical needs for workforce development, infrastructure, and capital investment. Ultimately, this analysis will inform a potential implementation strategy, focused on diversifying the local/regional economy and creating jobs.

This effort is designed to ensure appropriate input from representatives of business, research, higher education, utility/infrastructure, and economic development communities in Guam, as well as key U.S. military stakeholders.

This event is invitation-only and space is limited.

Click here for more information on the Guam Accelerator Project.

Follow us on Twitter for updates.


3DPOD Episode 125: 3D Printing Hypersonics with Neal Orringer, ASTRO America

ASTRO’s Neal Orringer sat down with executive editor Joris Peels and 3Doodler founder Maxwell Bogue for a discussion that spanned from AM Forward to hypersonics.

In the interview they talk about how AM Forward came about and why; what ASTRO’s been doing with hypersonics (this is cool…), and more. It’s a great discussion that you don’t want to miss!

Listen to the interview here.


Mark Your Calendar!

On November 10, Orringer will participate in a panel discussion on AM Investment Strategies at an online summit hosted by SmarTech Analysis and Stifel Financial.

The panel will cover topics like investment in the public markets, venture and private equity, M&A in the public and private markets, and the data: growth and expectations. Neal’s panel runs from 11am-12:30pm Eastern.

For more information or to register, click here.


Follow ASTRO on Twitter!

ASTRO is on Twitter! Follow us for quick updates and thoughts here.