Additive Manufacturing Leadership Initiative Updates Additive Manufacturing Body of Knowledge

Additive manufacturing, aka 3D printing, is changing on a near-daily basis. In order to stay current, and maintain a shared understanding of these constant shifts, the Additive Manufacturing Leadership Initiative (AMLI) continues to update the Additive Manufacturing Body of Knowledge.

This Body of Knowledge (BOK) was originally completed by the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) along with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 2013. The latest update was in 2016 and it is quite a feat.

What Is A Body Of Knowledge?

The formal definition of a Body of Knowledge (BOK or BoK) is the complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional domain, as defined by the relevant learned society or professional association.[1] It is a type of knowledge representation by any knowledge organization.

The 2016 Additive Manufacturing BOK is a comprehensive overview of the current state-of knowledge in additive manufacturing, as well as areas that have been identified as important by a wide range of additive manufacturing professionals. The Additive Manufacturing BOK can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Inform the development of training and educational program content
  • Focus the design of intern and apprentice experiences
  • Establish the desired content of industry recognized certificate programs and certifications
  • Provide the structure for the development of detailed Additive Manufacturing BOK content and resources

Over 500 additive manufacturing professionals responded to the Additive Manufacturing BOK update questionnaire. These results were tabulated and interpreted by members of the Additive Manufacturing Leadership Initiative (AMLI). Based on the survey, the following changes were made in the 2016 Additive Manufacturing BOK:

  1. Terminology was revised to bring the Additive Manufacturing BOK in line with ASTM AM standards.
  2. The following four categories were added: Additive Manufacturing (AM) Materials (formerly combined with AM Technology & Materials), AM Technology & Methods (reflects the removal of materials to another category), AM Post-Processing, and AM Safety.
  3. The following categories were identified as additive manufacturing resources rather than Additive Manufacturing BOK categories, and were either removed or not added to the 2016 AMBOK though suggested: Careers in AM, AM History, AM People, and AM Entrepreneurship. This is not a reflection on the importance of the content in these areas, but rather an indication that the ideal placement of these categories is not within the 2016 Additive Manufacturing BOK.
  4. Key topics within each category were edited to reflect newly developed areas or areas not identified in the 2013 Additive Manufacturing BOK.

The Additive Manufacturing BOK update questionnaire also explored areas of training interest and importance. The top five additive manufacturing topics for training interest and importance were identified as:

  1. New methods for AM design qualification
  2. AM materials – overall, new, and enhanced
  3. Scaling for AM direct production
  4. Electron beam melting
  5. Models for education and training/re-training design engineers

AMLI consists of Tooling U-SME, America Makes–National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials (TEAMM), the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC), and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). It utilized TEAMM’s Core Competencies for additive manufacturing technicians to plan content for training classes, certificate and certification programs, and ultimately develop Additive Manufacturing BOK-based resources including books on the topic.

A copy of the 2016 Additive Manufacturing BOK with specific changes, and summary data from the Additive Manufacturing BOK update questionnaire is available for viewing and download here.

More 3D Printing Jobs Available As Industry Grows

3D printing continues to grow and gain attention in the USA and around the world. It is not only the technology that is catching interest, but the opportunity it presents for students and those wanting to enter a new career.

AM News highlighted some of these trends in our April 2017 post: 3D Printing and Materials Skills In Demand, but we also received an email about an article on 3D Printing Jobs from TEAMM Network member Ed Tackett, who heads the UL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center (AMCC) housed at the University of Louisville campus – both organizations are TEAMM Network members. You can read more about the additive manufacturing training work that Ed and his team are leading. Thanks for sharing the article with us, Ed.

The article “Hot 3D Printing Jobs on the Rise” (link below) from Business News Daily starts out with stats on just how big the industry is expected to be: approaching $33 billion by 2023. Here’s the important part from the article for all those involved in training AM technicians for the future: “With that growth comes money and demand for talented people to control these sophisticated devices.”

The in-depth article points out the following nine areas that will see new jobs created or a peripheral boost from 3D printing (meaning we’ll need more people to teach 3D printing, for example from #5, within educational institutions; imagine that). We also know, for #5, that 3D is being incorporated into existing educational programs and current teachers are learning the skills need to increase technician training. While we are certain that TEAMM Network members could add a host of other opportunities to this list, it is a positive trend to see business media covering the topic.

  1. 3D design and CAD modeling
  2. Research and development (The article points out that R&D professionals may be some of the people who spot opportunities early due to their work with advanced materials.)
  3. Biological and scientific modeling
  4. Architecture/construction modeling
  5. Education
  6. Designers for law firms and legal professionals
  7. Aerospace
  8. On-staff experts
  9. Operations and administrative positions

Resources: Hot 3D Printing Jobs on the Rise by Andreas Rivera on September 14, 2017.

In closing, the future is bright for additive manufacturing. If you have a post or an article you see that ties into our work in technician education, please send it along to Robin Ballard here at TEAMM.

TEAMM Network Member Creates Additive Manufacturing Studio

As Additive Manufacturing, aka 3D Printing, gains momentum in various industries, experts predict there will be a shortage of trained workers. According to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 9 out of 10 manufacturers are struggling to find the required skilled workers for 3D technologies and other manufacturing skills.

Dr. Ismail Fidan from Tennessee Technological University wants to bridge the 3D printing knowledge gap before it starts with a new “train the trainer” workshop called the Additive Manufacturing Studio aimed at STEM educators. The workshop is part of the National Science Foundation’s Additive Manufacturing Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub (AM-WATCH). It is funded by a grant that brings together the Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials (TEAMM) housed at Edmonds Community College, Tennessee Tech University, and Sinclair Community College.

From the program overview:

The Studio shares with faculty how to conduct AM courses and corresponding lab experiences and provides an active and cooperative learning environment.  The class has been highly successful on a national level.  Integrate the latest 3D printing technologies into your STEM curriculum.  You’ll build a printer and work on a project in class.  And, as an added incentive, you’ll take that printer back to your institution for use in your own programs!

In July, 15 educators in Washington State attended a workshop at Edmonds CC’s Materials Science lab in Monroe Hall. Most of them were from community or technical colleges, but four high school teachers participated as well. They learned how to build and use 3D printers.

Members of each institution will work together to develop curriculum and educational materials, professional development activities, outreach targeting K-12 teachers and students, and other efforts. TEAMM is housed at Edmonds CC and funded by the NSF Advanced Technological Education directorate.

According to Mel Cossette, TEAMM’s executive director and principal investigator, 3D printing is an emerging technology that will eventually be used in every sector of manufacturing industry, from aerospace to medical.

In addition to the workshop training at Monroe Hall, attendees were able to go on a factory tour of the Fathom 3D Printing Studio in Seattle.

Learn more about Summer 2018 workshops by emailing Robin Ballard at robin.ballard@edcc.edu. Or you can keep tabs on the TTU AM-WATCH website.

AM News Profile: Tooling U SME Additive Manufacturing Training Courses

TEAMM, and a sister project, MatEdU, aka MaterialsEducation.org are both part of a larger project funded by the Advanced Technological Education Program of the National Science Foundation. Both are committed to increasing understanding and usage of materials in various educational areas. MatEdU, for example, has a large database of curriculum to serve educators for almost all ages. Each project has strong partners seeking to foster growth and opportunity to help students (and their teachers) to expand their knowledge and skills within materials science and additive manufacturing.

Note: If you head to the MaterialsEducation page for Educators, you will find core competencies outlined and can search for curriculum modules for free use in the classroom. TEAMM also has a Modules page that is smaller than MatEdU, but growing!

Image Courtesy Tooling U – SME

Tooling U, the training and development division of SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers), is an active TEAMM Network member and this month we are profiling a tiny slice of their work here on the AM News page. You can see the full list of courses that focus on Additive Manufacturing, but there is an extensive library of over 500 classes. They offer a free trial to allow you to sample at least part of one class.

You can also download the Tooling U Course Catalog in PDF here.

A couple of examples from the Beginner tracks:

–Intro to Additive Manufacturing 110 (Beginner)               

This class introduces users to additive manufacturing (AM) processes by outlining the history of AM, describing AM technology, and exploring current and future additive manufacturing applications.

–Additive Manufacturing Safety 120 (Beginner) 

Additive Manufacturing Safety describes how users can protect themselves against common mechanical, electrical, thermal, and airborne hazards associated with AM processes. This class also provides an overview of personal protective equipment (PPE), lockout/tagout procedures, Hazard Communication Standards (HCS), and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). 

Then you get to the Intermediate level for more intense training, here’s just one example:

–Additive Manufacturing Materials Science 211  (Intermediate)

Additive Manufacturing Materials Science provides a comprehensive overview of the materials that can be used with additive manufacturing (AM) processes. AM materials include a variety of polymers, metals, composites, and ceramics. Each material is distinguished from another material by microstructure, mechanical and physical properties, and life cycle. Different AM processes require the use of different AM materials. Therefore, an individual must understand materials’ science to ensure proper material selection. Understanding the materials that are compatible with additive manufacturing processes is an essential part of AM process success. After completing this class, users will not only be able to distinguish between thermoplastic and thermoset polymers, ferrous metals and nonferrous alloys, and ceramic and composite materials, but users will also be able to determine which material type is most appropriate for use with a specific AM process.

TEAMM is proud to have Tooling U as one of its dedicated partners. They continue to lead out in traditional manufacturing and new technologies, such as, Additive Manufacturing. It’s parent, SME, organizes the well-known and well-respected RAPID + TCT Event each year, and we have a brief summary of our visit to that show last month: 3D Printing Continues $6 Billion Strong Growth.

3D Printing Continues Strong $6 Billion Growth Via Wohlers Report

Advances in 3D technology from 3D printing to materials science are driving amazing growth for the manufacturing industry and many others. According to Wohlers Report 2017, 97 manufacturers produced and sold additive manufacturing systems in 2016, up from 62 in 2015. The industry achieved worldwide revenues of $6.063 billion in 2016.

Earlier this month, the TEAMM Network met the day before RAPID + TCT 2017 started. As people arrived in Pittsburgh to meet at one of the largest 3D printing events in the world, we gathered to talk about how technician education continues to change as well as how community colleges across the nation are preparing students for careers in the fast-growing additive manufacturing world. Naturally, the conversations continued as various experts from the TEAMM Network later spent time wandering the show floor.

While there were many innovations and inventions announced at this year’s show, here are a few of the big items:

— Stratasys made several big announcements, including its strategic partnership with Desktop Metal, as well as a continuous build platform that offers a modular bank of printers that can operate with very little help from an operator. You can check it out here.

–HP made numerous announcements around its Jet Fusion 3D Printer which is impressive, to say the least. Seriously impressive.

MarkForged talks about its updates to its carbon fiber 3D printer and had its Metal X, a new metal 3D printer, in demo mode at the show.

Many desktop 3D printing leaders were there:

–Ultimaker showcasing its new and elegant Ultimaker 3 printer.

–The well-known and highly-rated MakerGear team was demonstrating its newest MakerGear M3.

Lulzbot had an active booth due to its ever-popular and easy-to-use TAZ printers, including its newest TAZ 6 and the Lulzbot Mini cranking away on fun projects.

Desktop Metal wowed the crowd with its innovative, and many say revolutionary, new metal 3D printer. It has a Studio System and a Production System.

–SmarTech Publishing had a booth where you could peruse one of their many reports, including a metals report showing almost $1B in revenues.

Impossible Objects (materials science experts)

CMU NextManufacturing Center had a presence to share the many cool things they are doing.

–Resin-based 3D printers were represented by Carbon and FormLabs.

As you can see from this short list alone, there are a ton of great companies showcasing exactly how 3D printing and related 3D tech is keeping the manufacturing industry on its toes. TEAMM Network members were excited to be in the midst of this event packed with almost 350 exhibitors — and the big opportunity they represent for additive manufacturing technicians coming out of college programs.

–An earlier version of this post appeared on Forbes.