Frequent questions.

We understood that as a grant recipient we may need to fulfill PPE orders placed by Oakland County and/or Automation Alley.  But what is meant by "non-PPE orders" placed by Automation Alley?  What does Automation Alley intend to cover with this language?

Automation Alley intends to use this equipment to generate revenues for its grantees via orders from non-PPE types of components. We will try to procure business from other companies that might want to produce parts on this network. Our objective is to make sure grantees are suitably compensated and the compensation will be attractive enough to keep the equipment up and running.

Can I use this printer for purposes other than making PPE?

Of course! Our hope is that this technology will help further your business. After the three-year required period to be on the network, the printer is still yours to keep.

What happens if we have to relocate in the middle of the three-year contract? Are we attached to Oakland County?

In the event that a company moves outside of Oakland and Macomb, they are no longer in compliance with Grantee certification 3 and will need to be terminated from participation.

What is the "readiness assessment" and how will I receive it?

You will receive your assessment by email. The purpose of the assessment is to analyze the company in the following ways:

1. How well is the organization's purpose being represented by the strategy and executed in the day-to-day work?
2. What is the ability of the company to reinvest digitally?
3. What challenges and opportunities may your company face from a technology perspective?

From those viewpoints, we provide analysis and recommend three critical priorities for the company to implement. The recommendations are to be achievable and to resolve systemic challenges or bolster the ability to seize opportunities. All information including results is kept confidential and not shared with anyone without your consent.

Do we get access to CAD software? Is additional support offered for small businesses? How do we start working?

Sign up for the Markforged User Community. Join the community to connect with other Project DIAMOnD companies, learn about design and print projects, and connect with the Markforged team. Access the Markforged User Community by logging in to the Support Portal and navigating through the main menu in the upper right corner of your screen. Register for the Buddy Program. View a demo for logging into the portal.

Is this a regional or nationwide network?

Because the network is being developed with CARES grant money awarded to Macomb and Oakland County, it is currently regional consisting only of companies within Macomb and Oakland. There are future plans to expand beyond this region.

How will other Project DIAMOnD members be introduced to one another outside of being on the same Webinars?

Automation Alley is happy to facilitate introductions between Project DIAMOnD network participants! Other ways to connect include the Markforged Buddy Program, participation in the Lunch & Learn events to discuss applications, and to meet other manufacturers involved in the project. We're also working on a cloud-based interactive bulletin board that will allow for peer-to-peer and group messaging.

Are there any startup grants to get a building?

For startup support and information about funding resources, please contact John Bedz at

Are we able to announce our selection to be part of Project DIAMOnD on social media?

Please do! This is a federally funded program and does not involve any classified or close-hold information.

Who came up with this amazing idea?

Macomb and Oakland County took advantage of funding made available through The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Automation Alley, Macomb County and Oakland County developed the program together and continue to work together as the network strengthens and monetizes. See: The Treasury Department is Delivering COVID-19 Relief for All Americans. And PPE Resilience Grant.

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