‘This area is ripe’ for new technology, says founder of 3D printing company

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Dr. Slade Gardner has invested millions in the Valley, saying manufacturing is in the Youngstown area's DNA

WKBN

NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – On Wednesday morning, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce had its annual meeting.

Last year, the chamber had to cancel its annual meeting because of COVID. This year, the show went on, but it looked a little different.

Tables were spread across the entire space to allow for social distancing and masks were required. There was an extra mobile hand washing station at check-in.

This year, Dr. Slade Gardner, who has worked in additive manufacturing for almost two decades, was the keynote speaker. Additive manufacturing is also known as 3D printing.

Gardner, who founded Big Metal Additive in Denver, has invested millions in the Valley.

His company makes all kinds of interesting machine components that are used in spacecraft, underwater vehicles and cars.

On Wednesday, Gardner talked about the future of additive manufacturing. He said Youngstown’s history makes it the perfect place to become the leader in this kind of technology.

“The Mahoning Valley has the DNA of manufacturing. It’s been here forever, for as long as we can remember. Advance manufacturing and additive manufacturing relies on the fundamentals of manufacturing, the delivery and production of useful products and parts, because the Mahoning Valley has that in their DNA and they have the willingness to embrace new technologies. This area is ripe.”

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