YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Senator Sherrod Brown toured the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Friday.
He was greeted by representatives from NAMII partners, Youngstown State University and the Business Incubator.
NAMII, which specializes in 3-D printing, has made headlines for its work, even being mentioned by President Obama during the State of the Union last month.
The key to additive manufacturing is rather than milling or cutting away 90 percent of the raw material to produce a part or product, you instead add material so there is virtually no waste.
"With additive we can just build with the exact material that we need for the process," said Clark Patterson, a technician.
Institute director Ed Morris said additive innovation is a game-changer for manufacturing.
"It's the whole technique of doing the design. You can do some radically different things with additive manufacturing processes that you can do in no other way," Morris said.
The innovative research being done at the institute will include engineering students from YSU.
"Putting the students to work doing real engineering problems; then the companies take those solutions put them into their facilities and improve their processes and their products," said Martin Abraham, Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at YSU.
President Obama would like to have a dozen or more institutes across the country and Senator Brown is calling for the creation of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation with Youngstown as a model.
"This isn't just an example. This is really the leader in the country upon which we want to build. We want to replicate this around the country," Senator Brown said.
Brown hopes to get one billion dollars for the national network.