DARPA’s AMME Redefines Microsystem Manufacturing

Futuristic depiction of DARPA's AMME program, highlighting advanced additive manufacturing in microsystem technology.

Breaking New Ground in Additive Manufacturing

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) embarks on a transformative journey with its latest initiative, the Additive Manufacturing of Microelectronic Systems (AMME). This groundbreaking program is set to redefine the landscape of microsystems manufacturing, introducing a new era where speed, resolution, and material diversity break through existing boundaries.

The AMME initiative aims not only to enhance the capabilities of commercial devices but also to significantly bolster national security through rapid and innovative technological advancements.

“AMME is inspired by new insights from selective material synthesis and volumetric additive manufacturing that would enable a new class of microsystems,”

Michael Sangillo, AMME program manager

Through this ambitious program, DARPA aims to dismantle the conventional design rules and restrictions imposed by traditional manufacturing methodologies, thereby paving the way for a new generation of microsystems with unparalleled capabilities.

Innovative Manufacturing Techniques

The core of AMME’s strategy lies in its revolutionary approach to microsystem production. By integrating high-quality materials with cutting-edge additive manufacturing techniques, the program aspires to achieve levels of speed and resolution previously deemed unattainable. This innovative approach is expected to significantly disrupt the current state of electronic manufacturing, enabling the production of complex, multi-material microsystems in a fraction of the time required by traditional methods.

AMME program logo showcasing advanced microelectronic systems manufacturing technology.
Source DARPA
  • Program: Additive Manufacturing of Microelectronic Systems (AMME)
  • Focus: Revolutionizing microsystems production
  • Challenges Addressed: Integration of multi-materials, enhancement of resolution and speed
  • Impact: Advancements in national security, innovation in commercial devices, on-demand manufacturing capabilities
  • Printing Target: Achieving a 500 nm resolution
  • Speed Goal: Completing a penny-sized microsystem in about three minutes

Strategic Applications and Security

Beyond technological innovation, the AMME program is intricately linked to enhancing national security and strategic capabilities. The ability to swiftly produce sophisticated microsystems could revolutionize defense technologies, enabling rapid adaptation to new threats and challenges. Furthermore, this technology holds vast potential for critical applications such as space exploration, where on-demand manufacturing could be a game-changer for mission success and safety.

Challenges and Solutions

Despite the promising outlook, the path to achieving AMME’s goals is fraught with technical challenges. Among these are the development of novel 3D printing techniques capable of handling multiple materials simultaneously and achieving the desired resolution. To address these challenges, DARPA has called upon researchers and engineers to invent entirely new approaches to additive manufacturing, particularly focusing on the synthesis of precursor materials that facilitate rapid, multi-material printing.

Future of Microsystems

The implications of AMME’s success extend far beyond the immediate advancements in manufacturing techniques. By redefining what is possible in microsystem design, DARPA is steering the future towards a realm where electronic devices are more versatile, robust, and capable than ever before. This future envisions microsystems with entirely new geometries and integrated functionalities, marking a significant leap forward in the evolution of electronic devices.

Commercialization and Impact

A pivotal aspect of the AMME program is its emphasis on commercialization and widespread adoption. DARPA’s goal is to ensure that the technological innovations spurred by AMME can be rapidly transitioned into the broader industrial and commercial sectors. This strategy is designed to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and practical, scalable applications, thereby maximizing the impact of the program’s achievements.


DARPA’s AMME program represents a significant milestone in the field of additive manufacturing and microsystem production. By pushing the boundaries of current technologies, the agency is not only advancing the state of the art but is also shaping the future landscape of electronics and defense technologies. As AMME progresses, it promises to unlock new possibilities for rapid, on-demand manufacturing, thereby fostering a new era of innovation and security readiness.


More Aerospace


More Agriculture


More Automotive


More Energy


More Technology


More Environmental