3D Printing and Materials Skills In Demand

Over the last couple of months, we have been studying the job market to see if 3D printing skills were in demand. As you would have guessed, they are in high demand. In fact, most experts agree we have a shortage of skilled workers in additive manufacturing.

According to the World Economic Forum, the organization sees both positive and negative in 3D/AM employment trends for 2015-2020. WEF notes an overall negative number (-3.6%) in manufacturing job growth, but for architecture and engineering, however, they show 3.3 percent growth.

Based on the TEAMM network goal of helping technicians understand material properties both individually and as they are combined during the AM process, we wanted to look at what the job marketplace was looking for. Here are a few simple nationwide findings that show promise (as of this April 24, 2017 posting):


  • 587 jobs with 3D Printing in description or title. Most of them posted in the last month.
  • 298 LinkedIn jobs with Additive Manufacturing in description or title.
  • 1,567 LinkedIn jobs with Materials Science in description or title.


  • 600 Jobs with Additive Manufacturing in title or description
  • 918 Jobs with 3D Printing in title or description
  • 1,000+ Jobs with Materials Science in title or description


  • 912 Jobs with Additive Manufacturing in title or description
  • 1,067 Jobs with 3D Printing in title or description
  • 2,440 Jobs with Materials Science in title or description

In his post, 3D Printing Skills Is Accelerating Globally Forbes contributor Louis Columbus showed that the number of job advertisements calling for 3D printing skills increased 1,834% between August 2010 and August 2014, with industrial engineers, mechanical engineers, software developers, and industrial designers among the most sought-after professionals. It increased 103% when comparing August 2014 to August 2013.

Based on his post, and to broaden the perspective beyond traditional 9 to 5 jobs, there is also a growing need and interest in project-based or freelance, on-demand work opportunities for those who earn and rent out time on their 3D printers.

In April 2017, we turned to the 3D Hubs platform for that data:

  • 781,498 parts printed
  • 48 hours avg. turnaround time
  • 6,938 services listed online (totaling over 30,000 printers in use on the worldwide network)

The freelancer platform Upwork has over 200 open 3D Printing Projects listed

CAD Crowd has 300+ 3D printing freelance experts and provides a global map of their locations. There are over 14,000 designers from around the world listed on this site. Important to note: These are freelancers, not job listings. However, given the increasing growth in contract work, this is a significant trend to track.

Overall, there is solid growth within the type of education and training that TEAMM Network members offer to their respective communities. As our members could have probably told the “experts” – there is a huge need for skilled technical workers in additive manufacturing and materials science.

University of Washington Hosts Functional Materials and AM Symposium

Materials science is on the move at many universities and colleges across the nation. The University of Washington created the Advanced Materials & Additive Manufacturing (AM) Initiative and held their inaugural 3D Printing Symposium last March (2016) as a one day event.

Last year’s event had over 100 attendees with 28 percent industry and 72 percent UW students, faculty or alumni. They plan to continue the event this year, but expand it to a 2-day event this June 22 – 23, 2017.

The Additive Manufacturing and Functional Materials Symposium will bring together an international audience to discuss the cutting edge of additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. It will focus on the interface between AM and functional polymeric materials.
Confirmed speakers include:

  • Annalisa Chioppone (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)
  • Michael Dickey (NC State)
  • Igor Drstvenšek (University of Maribor)
  • Howon Lee (Rutgers)
  • Michael McAlpine (UMN)
  • Alshakim Nelson (UW-Seattle)
  • Eujin Pei (Brunel University London)
  • Kristina Shea (ETH Zurich)
  • Scott Phillips (Penn State University)

Registration is $50 for regular admission; $25 for students.
More details will be posted here.

In addition to the materials-focused event, under the same Advanced Materials & Additive Manufacturing Initiative, the University also held a Printed Electronics Summit earlier this month. You can read about it here.

University of Washington 3D Printing Club Makes “How-To” Documents Available to Public

TEAMM Network Members will be excited to hear that the University of Washington Woof3D club has presented a series of workshops on 3D printing that can help educators at all levels interested in the topic.

Jumping right into the challenges that most people will face when 3D printing, how prints fail, the image above gives you an idea of how workshop presenter Ben Weiss is going to lead you to successful 3D printing for you or your students. The reality is that 3D printing is amazing, but it is not, nor has never been, as simple as “pressing the print button” on an inkjet printer. Weiss addresses those common challenges and offers solutions throughout the workshop documents.

You can find the 3D Printing Curriculum and Workshop documents on the TEAMM Resource page under Education. WOOF, by the way, stands for Washington Open Object Fabricators and their mission: To build awareness of and to continue the advancement of 3D Printing technology for the creative, economic, and social benefit of all. They are certainly living up to that mission by sharing this extensive and useful curriculum.

If you are looking for a way to incorporate 3D printing into your school classroom, take a look at this brief, but comprehensive workshop. It also covers popular tools and how to use them. Here are the 15 documents you will find in the Zip file when you download from the TEAMM resource page.

Diagnosis Poster 1

Diagnosis Poster 2

Handout CAD Programs

Handout Custom Supports with MeshMixer

Handout Remeshing with MeshMixer

Handout Resources

Handout Terminology

Handout Ultimaker 2 Extruder

How-To Decimating STL Files in MeshLab

How-To Remeshing with MeshMixer

How-To Repairing Files in Netfabb

Printer Debugging Public Version

Printer Difficult Parts Public Version

Slides Printer Debugging Public Version

Slides Printing Difficult Parts and CAD Public Version

University of Washington Woof3D club developed “how-to” handouts now available for public use. This workshop material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. DGE-1256082.

Attribution for post image belongs to Ben Weiss under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license. Ben Weiss 2015. All the pictures are Ben Weiss’.

  • -The orange house is Prof. Ganter’s model.
  • -The teddy bear came from Thingiverse (exact link unknown)
  • -Orange pyramid is “Five screw-puzzles by George Hart” by GeorgeHart CC-A-NC http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:186372
  • -W clip is “Clip Peg – General purpose” by thomasforsyth http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:298955 CC-A-NC.
  • -Green spire and red part are Ben Weiss
  • -Black part is unknown

2017 Marks Launch of New TEAMM Network Resource

We are excited to launch the new TEAMM “AM News” page. This new Additive Manufacturing (AM) section provides the opportunity to share news, updates, case studies, success stories and more about what our industry and the TEAMM Network is doing around the country and around the world.

While much attention has been paid to the speed of AM technologies and the manufacturing process, the importance of materials in advancing Additive Manufacturing capabilities has been underserved. As new materials are developed and 3D printers are increasingly capable of utilizing multiple materials, it is imperative the technicians understand these material’s properties both individually and as they are combined during the AM process.

To address this gap in the convergence of additive manufacturing and materials, the Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials (TEAMM) project is forging a new collaborative network of public and private sector stakeholders. This network will address a critical gap in supporting a new direction of technician education, including the identification and adaption of skills standards that keeps pace with advances in research and development.

TEAMM will be supported through the utilization of social networking technologies, proactive identification and expansion of key stakeholders, and improved access to professional development.

This news page will include news about Additive Manufacturing, materials, and the very important topic of how technician education intersects in these two areas. We invite you to share your news and look forward to receiving your submissions. Possible topics on materials and materials science are welcome.

Please email your ideas, update and topics to 4teamm@email.edcc.edu