Tennessee Tech Announces Fall 2020 Additive Manufacturing Lecture Series

Fall 2020 Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series
Fall 2020 Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series

The College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech is organizing its tenth Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series for Fall 2020.

Thanks to Dr. Ismail Fidan and his team — they have again arranged an amazing group of expert speakers from around the world.

The web-based presentations are shared via the free Zoom platform. On the dates listed, simply visit this Zoom URL ( here it is in plain text should the link not work correctly: tntech.zoom.us/j/432789883 ) at 11am Central Standard Time and you can listen in to the 30-minute lecture/discussion. Mark your calendars for one or all of these excellent presentations.


Thursday, Sept. 17

Mass Production and Decision Making with Low Cost Additive Manufacturing for Institutions and Small Businesses

Presented by Eric N. Wooldridge, PE, RA, Professor, Somerset Community College, Kentucky


TTU Lecture Series _Olaf Diegel

Thursday, Oct. 8

Design for AM: The Key to the Industrialization of AM

Presented by Olaf Diegel, Professor, University of Auckland, New Zealand


TTU Lecture Series _Steiner KilliThursday, Oct. 29

New Product Development for AM: Methods and Tools

Presented by Steinar Killi, Professor, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway


TTU Lecture Series _Ian GibsonThursday, Nov. 19

Machine Learning in AM

Presented by Ian Gibson, Professor, University of Twente, Netherlands


Dr. Fidan has been using the Zoom platform for years and leads out in online learning methods. You can read more about his complete shift, thanks to COVID-19, to innovative, distance learning approaches:

Online Learning In The Age Of COVID-19 And Beyond

You can also access the full archive of past additive manufacturing webinars here:

Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series Spring 2020

The Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Virtual Lecture Series is partially funded by the NSF Award 1601587, “AM-WATCH: Additive Manufacturing-Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub.”

We make regular updates on the Materials Education Facebook page (sister organization to TEAMM).

New Micro- Nanotechnology Education Center (MNT-EC) Serves Technician Education

Nanotechnology Technician Education
Photo by L N on Unsplash

As urgent pandemic needs came to the public’s attention in the first half of 2020, the speed of additive manufacturing technologies and how quickly teams emerged to handle the shortages. Teams around the nation leaped into the void to demonstrate a truly just-in-time solution. The ongoing crisis and PPE (3D printed and other components) further show a greater need for technicians in 3D printing and other technical fields, such as nanotechnology. 

A newly funded National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education program – the Micro Nano Technology Education Center (MNT-EC). According to the award news: “The MNT-EC will directly increase the numbers of community college faculty participating in micro- and nanotechnology technician education, thus supporting an increased number of students who receive technical education degrees and certificates in micro- and nanotechnology fields. As a result, this project will support preparation of a skilled technical workforce in a field that has an enormous impact on the nation’s economy, security, and health.”

This project will be led by Pasadena City College in collaboration with Edmonds College, Portland Community College, and Northwest Vista College. In addition, the MNT-EC will connect existing micro and nano NSF ATE Resource Centers (NACK, SCME, NEATEC, and MatEdU). 

A few examples to explain the current uses and opportunities in the Micro- and Nanotechnology industries:

        • Components in electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, wearable activity monitors, and medical sensors. 
        • Materials science aspects of micro and nano are making tennis balls that last longer, cloth that repels water, and bandages that prevent bacterial growth. 

The Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials (TEAMM) project, in connection with MatEdU, operates AM News to explore news for technicians. It also addresses a critical gap in supporting technician education initiatives, such as the MNT-EC, among others. It also looks to keep institutions and students up to date with ASTM International (formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials) for skills standards that keep pace with advances in research and development. This new award to Pasadena City College is a powerful example of NSF’s commitment to making sure technicians are ready for whatever situation or crisis arises in the United States.

A highly skilled technical workforce is needed to keep pace with the demands of and the changes in micro- and nanotechnology industries. Here are a few Microtechnology and Nanotechnology technician jobs that students are researching: 

        • Nanotechnology Engineering Technicians    
        • Computer and Information Research Scientists
        • Electronics Technicians
        • Materials Engineers
        • Biochemical Engineers 
        • Microsystems Engineers 
        • Materials Scientists 

For more details, you can read the full Abstract on the NSF site: The Micro Nano Technology Education Center (MNT-EC) Award details.

Online Learning In The Age Of COVID-19 And Beyond

Image Courtesy of Zoom Video Communications

By now, it is fairly clear that the delivery of education has changed. With no in-person, on-campus classes and nearly everything online, we have moved into a new era, whether we like it or not. COVID-19 may soon be stopped by way of a vaccine, but its impact is undeniable. 

Thanks to Dr. Ismail Fidan, Professor of the Department of Manufacturing and Engineering Technology at Tennessee Tech University, AM News started exploring what online learning looks like, on the ground, for the Spring semester and future ones. Since most of you were thrown into the virtual learning, distance learning, remote learning world (pick your term), we uncovered many great resources ideas we hope will help you plan and build your courses and teaching methods.

Dr. Fidan faces some of the same challenges that many professors face — how to teach an in-person lab when you cannot meet in person. He shared that he was able to build his own virtual lab, and help his colleagues with theirs, to develop materials for ZOOM and TTU’s use of Desire2Learn’s BrightSpace learning management system platform. 

In the Plant Layout and Materials Handling course, students do their design work by accessing the virtual laboratory of Tennessee Tech, quickly developed by the Information Technology Services team. Using the commercial VMware Horizon application, students join the laboratory and complete their assignments remotely using AutoCAD 2020.

In the CNC Machining Practices course, students use the Autodesk Fusion 360 software tool (again via remote access). This is a cutting-edge simulation tool for CNC machining operations. Anything they program also functions the same as in real cutting operations.

Although the MatEdU free resources were not built for remote learning specifically, you can find a wide range of materials science curricula that may guide your next steps to planning online courses. Visit the MatEdU Modules page or the Instructional Resources page. Here are five additional sites packed with even more ideas.  

Regardless of which technology platform your school uses, here are several other resources that may provide useful tips and techniques:

Wohlers Report 2020 Shows Additive Manufacturing $12 Billion Industry Growth

Wohlers Report 2020
Wohlers Report 2020

Each year, the Wohlers Report highlights the growth of the additive manufacturing industry. The Wohlers Report 2020 revealed that the 2019 additive manufacturing (AM) industry, consisting of all AM products and services worldwide, grew 21.2 percent to $11.867 billion. 

In addition to all of the industry data, the report digs into three areas near to the hearts of AM News readers: TEAMM, Materials, and academic endeavors.

To start, Mel Cossette, Executive Director/Principal Investigator for the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU) and TEAMM Project, provides an update of the TEAMM Network activities, including:

      • The TEAMM website has 11 curated educational modules, which help classroom teachers include approved AM content quickly in their curricula. Modules include Materials for 3D Printing by Fused Deposition and Additive Manufactured Polymers in Bending Stress. Both basic and advanced options are offered. These modules are freely available on the website with videos and other educational resources. 
      • TEAMM also continues to participate in the ASTM F42 Technical Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies and provides input on global AM standards. 

The Materials section of the Wohlers Report gives a comprehensive summary with highlights about a niche filament material maker, Taulman3D, which has been instrumental in bringing new 3D printing materials to market for the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) method. In 2012, material filament choices were ABS or PLA. Now, there are dozens of types of new materials and Taulman3D led the charge with a nylon copolymer. 

Dr. Ismail Fidan, Professor in Manufacturing and Engineering Technology at Tennessee Tech University, provides an international glimpse into the many activities happening at colleges, universities, and research institutes – almost 140 of them. Here are just a few examples:

      • The University of North Texas has established the Center for Agile and Adaptive AM with 2-year support of $10 million from the State of Texas Legislature.
      • HP, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and National Research Foundation Singapore have established the HP – NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Laboratory on AM, an $84 million project.
      • In Late 2019, the U.S. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for research and Engineering selected 7 awardees for the Manufacturing Engineering Education Program. These distinguished educational and Industry partners are receiving more than $32 million over a three-year period.

Although 2020 has presented some rather large challenges to financial growth, the future of additive manufacturing still has a bright future, partly due to the many initiatives that have shone a light on what 3D printing can do (as highlighted in recent AM News posts highlighted below). The Wohlers Report 2020 gives us evidence of the industry’s resilience and enthusiasm on both an individual and corporate level. There is hope and opportunity thanks to people who know how to create and make, no matter the circumstances or difficulties around them. 


Two posts highlighting the way 3D printing has helped during the Coronavirus pandemic:

An earlier version of this post was published at Forbes: Additive Manufacturing Industry Grows To Almost 12 Billion In 2019.

Disclosure: I received a media copy of the Wohlers Report to review.

Serving In A Time Of Crisis: Edmonds College Makerspace Designs PPE

The groundswell of support from maker communities around the USA and the world to 3D print face shields, or sew DIY cloth face masks, is making a difference for healthcare workers on the front lines battling COVID-19. Much of that work started in Washington State and the Northwest. At Edmonds College, a small team began working on its own version of a sustainable, durable face shield. 

Thanks to the encouragement and support of Edmonds College President, Dr. Amit B. Singh, the college makerspace leaders at The Facility began work immediately on a sustainable personal protective equipment (PPE) design to test with area healthcare professionals.

Dubbed “ED19,” the  face shield under development at Edmonds College is currently undergoing informal field tests at Skagit Valley Hospital, Mt Vernon, and St Joseph Medical Center, Bellingham. The ED19 is targeted at frontline healthcare workers: Emergency Medical Technicians, Nurses, and Doctors. 

FaceShield-PolyTop
FaceShield-PolyTop

“First, while it is really cool that people are 3d printing PPE (for the record I’m a BIG fan of distributed production) it still takes a very long time to print a single part. By sourcing replacement headgear for welding helmets we can offer a solution that is more durable, more adjustable, and more comfortable at a very competitive price,” said David Voetmann, The Facility program manager. 

Using mostly off-the-shelf products and components, gives Voetmann and his team a chance to test and modify rapidly. Even more importantly, perhaps, is his second purpose: “the real point is exploring a transition away from our current disposable mentality.” His goal is to make this face shield, or any PPE, as reusable as possible. Some of it has to be disposable, of course, for a myriad of safety reasons, but as a culture we could shift to products that are cleaned and used more than once, when possible.   

FaceShield-CardDown
Early Tests with Cardboard: FaceShield-CardDown

Voetmann is clear that he is not suggesting that current 3D printing efforts are unnecessary, far from it, he applauds and supports their efforts. He wants to look beyond the current crisis to how we might reduce future pandemic impact as well as find a more sustainable, earth-friendly method for healthcare use for years to come. This product could reduce the consumption rate of PPE.

FaceShield-Iterations
FaceShield-Iterations

As makers and students and staff have taken on tasks to help 3D print or sew or model various possible PPE solutions, the foundation for student learning is built into the program at Edmonds College — one that The National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU) and the TEAMM project have helped bring to reality thanks to National Science Foundation grant funds. In part, Monroe Hall is filled with materials science equipment and advanced manufacturing machines due to NSF grants and teamwork, for student use in the Engineering Technology Lab, as well as for the community via The Facility Maker Space. 

As the COVID19 pandemic shows signs of slowing, it is far from over and the work aimed at sustainable solutions as well as the short-term PPE needs that can be solved with 3D printing will continue. It is up to us to continue encouraging and helping students and volunteers around the country as they find and build solutions. 

In My Edmonds News, the article Edmonds College prototypes, manufactures face shields to meet COVID-19 needs of health care workers interviews Dr. Singh and his thoughts summarize this post well: “We are trying to do our small part to meet the urgent needs of our community and its health care workers,” said Edmonds College President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “We’ve responded rapidly and created innovative processes at both our makerspace and aerospace training center to meet this need.

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Note: We highlight and applaud the efforts of many educational institutions working to put PPE into the hands of healthcare workers. Here are a few highlights in the recent AM News post: Editor’s Corner: 3D Printers Rally To Help Stem COVID-19: Your Help Is Needed. Tennessee Tech and University of Louisville are mentioned. We are doing an update that includes other college initiatives.