Could 3D Printers And Fracking Byproducts Revive PA Manufacturing?

Dec 4, 2015

The Commonwealth's once-mighty manufacturing sector has been ailing for decades. But some industry leaders think the key to a massive comeback may be buried deep in the Marcellus shale.

"This new petrochemical-based manufacturing industry, which is waiting to be born, will be bigger than the economic impact of the drilling," said David Taylor, president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association. Between ethane-derived plastics and recent advances in additive manufacturing technology, Taylor sees potential for a manufacturing revival.

As NPR examines the state of American manufacturing in 2015, we look at the industry's future in Pennsylvania.

Shell Chemicals is still considering whether to build a $2.5 billion ethane 'cracker' in Beaver County
Credit Reid Frazier / Allegheny Front