Design Trends For Additive Manufacturing From Dr. Patrick Pradel

TTU Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series presents…

On March 11, Dr. Patrick Pradel from Loughborough University, United Kingdom, will present on the Current State of Design for AM Education via the Tennessee Tech additive manufacturing lecture series.

Join from anywhere, via the Zoom video platform: at 11AM Central Time on Thursday, March 11.

Last month, the TTU Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Spring 2021 Series began with Dr. Jennifer Loy: 3D Printing Product Development Decisions with Dr. Jennifer Loy. Dr. Loy opened with the unique capabilities of additive manufacturing (AM), then shared examples and tips on “how manufacturers could approach integrating the technology into their business from a product design point of view.”

In January 2016, Dr Pradel joined the Design for Digital Fabrication Research Group (D4DF) at the Loughborough Design School as a research associate and is currently working on an EPSRC funded Network project on Design for Additive Manufacturing (Design for AM-Net – Additive Manufacturing Network). The DfAM Network is a collaborative effort between Loughborough University and Lancaster University to connect the UK DfAM community. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences.

Thanks to Patrick’s overall research in design and AM, across nearly two decades of product design and manufacturing, he will be sharing current trends and opportunities for students and faculty interested in the field. Read Dr. Pradel’s full bio on LinkedIn and his Loughborough University profile page.

Please visit the College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech page for all the details on the Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series for Spring 2021.

Diving Into Additive Manufacturing With 3D Pen Technology

Tennessee Tech AM-WATCH project offers virtual workshop showcasing what’s possible with a 3D Pen.

In early January, Tennessee Tech University offered a special Virtual AM-WATCH Studio Workshop with its full day seminar: Diving into Additive Manufacturing Practices via 3D Pen Technology. In this course, Kim Grady, an accomplished NSF Principal Investigator and  Instructional Technologist, created and conducted the 3-hour workshop for high school and technical college educators interested in teaching 3D printing skills.

Kim uses the 3Doodler 3D pen in this workshop to demonstrate 3D printing concepts such as layering, joining, geometry and measurement, and adding function to an object. If you are asking: What is a 3D printing pen? — it is a device designed to allow you to make  PLA or ABS plastic 3D objects without a 3D printer. Essentially, the 3Doodler Pen is a handheld extruder. 

The original 3Doodler originated with a 2013 Kickstarter (crowdfunding platform) project that made more than two million dollars above the fundraising goal. The company offers a variety of pens including easy to handle models for young hands and advanced control models for professionals. 

Of course, there are other makes and models of 3D pens on the market and we will list a couple of reviews that share pros and cons for many of them. This will help you find the best 3d printing pen for your needs or your students’ needs. If you are searching for products and ideas, consider also using “3D printing pen” or “3D drawing pen” as near-synonymous terms. Many consider the 3D pen to be a young cousin to the 3D printer, a handheld one, at that. 

You can watch the full 3-hour YouTube video, “Diving into Additive Manufacturing Practices via 3D Pen Technology,” also embedded here:

Tennessee Tech, through its AM Watch project and team, sponsored and delivered the workshop in collaboration with TEAMM’s Principal Investigator (PI) Mel Cossette and Kim Grady. Kim has been a MatEdU partner since 2004, an active participant for many NSF grants and continues to develop hands-on curriculum for a wide range of educators. She has produced downloadable courses and materials here on TEAMM as well as on MatEdU, including:

You also can find the complete collection of educator resources at the TEAMM Module page and on the MatEdU Module page (well over 100 modules you can download in PDF and PPT formats).

Dr. Ismail Fidan, who leads the AM-WATCH program, opened the workshop exploring and explaining how Additive Manufacturing is “a new way of making.” Graduate students followed Dr. Fidan’s remarks: Seymour Hasanov gave tips on the fundamentals of design, followed by Ankit Gupta highlighting various materials for AM, with Tyler Edwards explaining 3D Printer Parts and Operating Principles. 

Kim Grady’s three-hour session was packed with detailed explanations for how to use the 3D pen to teach complex 3D printing concepts. She defined and demonstrated the basic concepts then guided the participants, virtually, through hands-on application.  

Participants started with the basics of extrusion by writing their initials and fabricating basic shapes. To get a solid grasp on how wire framing and layering is used to fabricate real-world objects from PLA filament; squares were joined to create a hollow cube (shown below) and half spheres were joined to create a hollow ball. To illustrate and get experience with design, snowflakes with repeating hexagon shapes were constructed. “Real” 3D printing vocabulary and concepts were stressed throughout, making this workshop unique to any other 3D pen tutorial or workshop currently available.

As a “final project,” participants were challenged to apply what they learned to add function to their objects. The cube and ball concepts were used to fabricate a ball and socket, and the snowflake’s repeating shapes design concepts were applied to fabricate functioning gears. 

Final project results and ideas for how to use the 3D pen in your classroom can be viewed on the YouTube link above.  


  • You can visit the 3Doodler page directly. The New York Times Wirecutter review “The Best 3D Pen” recommends it highly as well. In fact, they do not list others and only recommend this one – a significant statement for them. There are educator-specific classroom kits under their “Schools” tab. Basic sets start around $169 (but is on sale frequently for around $89) and a Pro set is available at $199. 
  • Although a little dated, from 2019, this “Best 3D Pens” list from 3DInsider is well-rounded and linked to the Amazon listings for each pen (no affiliate relationship with us).

3D Pen Workshop Photo Gallery

Diagrams show similarities between the 3D pen and typical extrusion equipment used in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) which is the non-branded, non-trademarked version of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) which belongs to Stratasys and is roughly the same method.
Participant at Kim Grady 3Doodler Pen Workshop at TTU
Dr. Fidan used his smart phone to give a peek at what was happening in the face-to-face classroom at TTU where some participants gathered to participate in the workshop.
Participant at Kim Grady 3Doodler Pen Workshop at TTU
Math skills are at the center of 3D printing projects. Templates, scales, angles and geometry were used to show how to measure and calculate tolerances when fitting/joining shapes together and use repetition to add precision and strength to a design.
All participants received their own 3Doodler pen, all agreed they would be using the pen in their future 3D printing instruction.
3D Pen Workshop Participants learn how to make square panels that were then joined to create a hollow cube.

3D Printing Product Development Decisions with Dr. Jennifer Loy

Dr. Jennifer Loy presents at the TTU Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series

On Feb 18, Dr. Jennifer Loy from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, will present the 3D Printing Product Development Decisions webinar via the Tennessee Tech additive manufacturing lecture series.

Join from anywhere, via the Zoom video platform: at 11AM Central Time on Thursday, February 18.

Each semester, Dr. Ismail Fidan and team coordinate the well-respected TTU Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series. The Spring 2021 series kicks off with Professor Jennifer Loy who has taught industrial and product design for many years, and began her career in manufacturing when efficiencies were driven by standardization, but is now a convert to the unique capabilities of additive manufacturing (AM), presenting in this talk starting points on how manufacturers could approach integrating the technology into their business from a product design point of view.

Jennifer will share tips to help existing and new businesses understand what to 3D print, where it could be appropriate for them, and when it is not. Many businesses are finding that logic built up through years of conventional manufacturing practice and process no longer applies and it can be problematic when trying to reach an objective decision on what to make with AM and how to integrate it into production and business practice. Jennifer believes that in order for technology adoption to be successful, our understanding has to move beyond engineering to product design, production practice and logistics.

The aim of this short, illustrated presentation is to provide some initial guidance for a company considering adopting AM and starting points for evaluating product design options. These starting points and practical, realistic strategies and considerations are also the subject of a future book, going into greater depth, due to be published by Routledge in 2022.

Professor Loy introduced additive manufacturing into product design at Griffith university, initially at third year, then second and finally first year as she became convinced that to exploit its characteristics, product designers needed to explore its capabilities prior to those of conventional manufacturing. Jennifer is now Professor of Additive Manufacturing in the School of Engineering at Deakin University, Australia, where she leads a Masters’ specialization in AM.

Read the full bio and published works of Professor Jennifer Loy or the research center where she is active: Deakin Digital Design and Engineering Centre (3DEC).

If you are interested in the rest of the series, please visit the College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech page for the Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series for Spring 2021.

Save The Dates: 3D Printing Experts Join TTU Spring 2021 Lecture Series

The College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech is organizing its eleventh Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series for Spring 2021. Professors and speakers from around the world join Dr. Ismail Fidan and his team to share what they are learning about 3D printing in the real 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: ) 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.

TTU Spring 2021 Lecture Series with Jennifer Loy

Thursday, February 18

3D Printing Product Development Decisions

Presented by Jennifer Loy, Ph.D., Professor of Additive Manufacturing, School of Engineering Deakin University, Australia


TTU Spring 2021 Lecture Series with Patrick Pradel

Thursday, March 11

The Current State of Design for AM Education

Presented by Patrick Pradel, Ph.D., Lecturer in Product Industrial User-Centerd Design Loughborough University, United Kingdom


TTU Spring 2021 Lecture Series _Gaffar Gailani

Thursday, April 1

The Challenges of Additive Manufacturing in Medical Devices

Presented by Gaffar Gailani, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Center of Medical Devices and Additive Manufacturing, New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

TTU Spring 2021 Lecture Series with Antti Jarvenpaa

Thursday, April 22

Fatigue Behavior of Additively Manufactured Steel

Presented by Antti Jarvenpaa, Ph.D., Research Director of Future Manufacturing Technologies University of Oulu, Finland

Access the full archive of past additive manufacturing webinars.

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.

Additive Manufacturing Certificate Workshop For NC3 And More

In its third virtual symposium on Additive Manufacturing (AM), the NSF-funded “Developing Resources for Enhancing Additive Manufacturing (DREAM)” project at Chippewa Valley Technical College, will focus on how you can earn an Additive Manufacturing certificate.

Registration information is below.

The tentative agenda shows that participants in this half day event will learn more about how to get an AM certification with speakers sharing about the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate – Additive Manufacturing (CSWA-AM), as well as Dremel and NC3 Certs.

9:00 – 9:15     Introduction
9:15 – 9:30    DREAM Website – Resources
9:30 – 9:50    How to get AM certification
9:50 – 10:00     Break
10:00 – 10:30   SolidWorks – CSWA-AM
10:30 – 10:50   Kahoot Activity
10:50 – 11:00    Break
11:00 – 11:20   New Achievements in 3D Printing Certification
11:20 – 11:45   Dremel and NC3 Certificates
11:45 – 12:00   Filling out the Survey

Additive Manufacturing Certificates

Most people within the industry use the term “additive manufacturing” interchangeably with 3D Printing (although the latter is more popular and used widely in student and professional discussions). Think of an additive manufacturing certificate as a mini “3D printing degree.”

Due to current job and workforce trends, there is a shortage of technicians in almost every technical career specialty in the USA. Educational institutions, particularly 2-year institutions, are working hard and smart to develop new programs for technicians of all types. This workshop will help you get a basic understanding of the training needed to get started in additive manufacturing.

DREAM is hosting the third virtual Symposium on Additive Manufacturing on Friday, February 12th at 9:00 A.M – 12:00 P.M. CT. Supporters include Dassault Systèmes (SolidWorks), Ashley Furniture, Zeiss, and Desktop Metal.

You can find recorded videos of hosted symposia, developed modules, and more by visiting the NSF DREAM Project website. NSF will provide a small stipend for your time (in this workshop symposium) if you are a high school, middle school, or elementary school teacher ($100).

  Register for the Symposium here  

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3D Printing Jobs Are Part Of The Future

In November 2020, MatEdU News (our sister publication focused on Materials Education and Materials Science), published a story about the second AM symposium organized by DREAM (NSF Award #1902501). You can read about it here: Chippewa Valley Technical College Offers Additive Manufacturing Symposium.

Advanced Technological Education (ATE) is a core part of our work here at AM News and we encourage you to visit some of our other recent posts about training and degree programs to help you learn about the perfect job or career path and educational programs that will get you there. Take a look at this lecture series: Digging Deep with Online 3D Printing Lectures.