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Collins Touts UMaine 3D Printing at Hearing with Top Defense Officials

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Washington, D.C. – At an Appropriations hearing to review the Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the U.S. Army with top defense officials, U.S. Senator Susan Collins highlighted how the University of Maine’s (UMaine) 3D printing and composites capabilities are supporting America’s armed services.  Witnesses at the hearing included Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth and Chief of Staff of the Army General Randy George.

Senator Collins is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Defense.

In response to a question from Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) about collaborative efforts between research programs at universities and the Department of Defense, General George said:

They're able to come up with how we can 3D print parts that cost $20 and, you know, took us six months to get, to actually 3D printing 16 of them within a minute and they cost $0.12 each.  So, these are soldiers that are doing these things.  I think that technology has changed that much.  We're going to have to adjust with the times.

Senator Collins followed up on this topic during Q&A with General George:

General, first let me say, I was delighted to hear you talk about 3D printing and the possibilities that it can contribute enormously to our national defense.  The University of Maine has one of the largest, if not the largest 3D printer, and has printed everything from a boat to a home.  It's just amazing what they've been able to do.  They're also doing a lot of work on ballistic protections for our troops, using composites.  So, it's very exciting the work that's going on, and I'm glad to know that you see the promise as well.

As Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins secured $4 million for the UMaine BioHome3D Congressionally Directed Spending request in the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills.  This legislation also included funding opportunities that could benefit research and development at UMaine.