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Mar. 14, 2014 10:15 am

3D Maryland director Jan Baum testifies in D.C. in favor of rapid manufacturing

Baum told the House Committee on Small Business that 3D printing gives entrepreneurs and small businesses "new capabilities that will alter how we compete in an increasingly global marketplace."

Jan Baum explains the process of layering during 3D printing at the kickoff event for 3D Maryland.

Jan Baum, director of the 3D Maryland rapid manufacturing initiative in Howard County, was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday praising the future of additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing.

Joined by other 3D-printing champions from California, Minnesota and New York, Baum told the House Committee on Small Business that 3D printing gives entrepreneurs and small businesses “new capabilities that will alter how we compete in an increasingly global marketplace.”

In her written testimony, Baum said 3D printing “level[s] the playing field so that small businesses have [the] opportunity to compete and develop solutions,” much in the same way larger companies with more financial capital do. She also “asked that the federal government continue to support research and tech transfer programs and to address the need to adapt education and training for new manufacturing technologies,” according to The Daily Record.

As Technical.ly Baltimore has reported, it’s for these reasons that Baum is now spearheading the Howard County rapid manufacturing program called 3D Maryland — to push the growth of a new type of manufacturing class, something big companies are already doing. General Electric, for instance, is spending $3.5 billion to invest in 3D printers and triple the size of its 70-person 3D-printing staff over the next five years.

Read Jan Baum's full testimony

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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