RAMP Maryland celebrates second anniversary
— Members of the Regional Additive Manufacturing Partnership (RAMP) marked their second anniversary Monday with an open house at ATK Orbital in Elkton.
RAMP was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 2014 to bring together private business, education, government and Aberdeen Proving Ground to expand Maryland’s additive manufacturing sector.
“We create opportunities for existing and start-up manufacturers by partnering them with a federal laboratory,” RAMP Executive Director Rick Decker said Monday morning, as he thanked all the volunteers in RAMP who have worked diligently since its inception to create these partnerships.
“We link small business with government equipment and expertise that they wouldn’t otherwise have any access to,” Decker said, noting this model has helped 15 companies so far, with more in the wings.
The 2-year-old organization also provides networking opportunities for people in the addictive manufacturing industry for
“We’re looking for creativity, not just engineers, to solve difficult problems,” Decker said.
Representatives from Harford and Cecil County governments attended the celebration at ATK in Elkton.
“We have a tremendous regional group here,” Cecil County Director of Economic Development Lisa Webb said, while she pointed out that Cecil County has a lot of manufacturing companies, including ATK Orbital, Terumo and Gore as some of the larger ones, but also several smaller manufacturers.
Karen Holt, who is Webb’s counterpart in Harford County, congratulated both counties for making this happen.
“Enthusiasm is still strong in this group, two years later,” she said.
Addictive manufacturing is the process of producing a threedimensional object from a digital file by layering materials. It uses multiple technologies, such as 3D printing, rapid prototyping, direct digital manufacturing, just-in-time manufacturing, layered manufacturing and additive fabrication.
“This speeds up the process tremendously,” Decker said. Harford County Director of Economic Development Karen Holt, left, and Cecil County Director of Economic Development Lisa Webb help RAMP MD Executive Director Rick Decker cut the two-year anniversary cake with a sword that belongs to Decker. He used the same sword last year to cut the cake then.
Bradley Prue, sales manager at Danko Arlington, Inc., said his 97-year-old Baltimore company started using 3D printing about five years ago to make patterns for products that previously relied on skilled workers who crafted patterns by hand.
Dave Wheatley, chairman of the board of RAMP and owner of D. Wheatley Enterprises, has used RAMP for his own firm.
“This partnership has provided access to sophisticated equipment that expanded my company’s capabilities and provided access to people with decades of trial and error in this field,” he said.
Danko Arlington Sales Manager Bradley Prue shows Cecil County Director of Economic Development Lisa Webb one of the products made by his firm using addictive manufacturing.