Manufacturers Provide Support to Peers, Help Ramp Up Michigan’s 3D Printing Network Project DIAMOnD
Automation Alley’s innovative new program Project DIAMOnD, which is helping small and medium-sized manufacturer in Oakland and Macomb Counties embrace 3D printing, is also creating a community of makers that are learning together and leaning on one another when support is needed.
Project DIAMOnD (which stands for Digital, Independent, Agile, Manufacturing on Demand) was driven by Oakland and Macomb Counties last fall through CARES ACT funding to accelerate digital transformation and strengthen supply chains for developing PPE by giving state-of-the-art 3D printers to small and medium-sized manufacturers across the region.
In addition to PPE, participating manufacturers are able to use the 3D printers to expand their own production of industrial parts and products, ultimately enhancing Industry 4.0 manufacturing capabilities in Michigan and throughout the United States.
The most exciting impact of Project DIAMOnD is that manufacturers who were skeptical of 3D printing before the project are now all in, enthusiastically innovating and racing to design, produce and sell the products and components of tomorrow.
Today, Project DIAMOnD is 300 manufacturers strong and is made up of a community of small manufacturers eager to learn about the many benefits of additive manufacturing, share best practices and help one another get started with the new technology, which, for many smaller manufacturers has been a huge culture shift.
When Michael Paselk, business owner and technical director at Auburn Hills-based CMP Technologies, a Project DIAMOnD company, found out other companies in the DIAMOnD network were in need of set up support for their 3D printers, he sprung at the opportunity help.
“We felt very blessed with the opportunity that we received from Automation Alley, so of course we wanted to help those in need,” Paselk said.
Prior to the pandemic, CMP Technologies provided robotics and automation customer-specific training. But once COVID-19 hit, it turned their world upside down. Suddenly, companies were not taking on new projects and there seemed to be no projection for when things would turn back around.
“We spent our days looking for new opportunities and a way to climb back up. That’s when we came across Automation Alley’s Project DIAMOnD and the huge opportunity it presented,” Paselk said. Today, because of Project DIAMOnD, CMP Technologies is offering 3D printing service for prototypes and production parts.
Taking what he had learned through Project DIAMOnD, Paselk helped fellow DIAMOnD network company Tangico, a Pontiac-based wholesale gift manufacturer, with their 3D printer assembly and set up, loading of plastic and fiber, leveling the printer bed, and also brought the printer online.
“It allowed us to ‘pay it forward’ if you will. It also created a new business relationship with Jennifer and Sue from Tangico. They are super nice people, and we hope to stay in contact with them,” Paselk said, adding that he hopes to assist more companies in need and form business relationships moving forward.
“Project DIAMOnD has literally transformed our business and we will be forever grateful,” he said.
To learn more about Project DIAMOnD, or to inquire about joining the network, please visit Project DIAMOnD