TEAMM Network Principal Investigator Mel Cossette Reports On Materials Education

According to Forbes and the Wohlers Report 2019, the additive manufacturing forecast for 2020 is $15.8 billion for all AM products and services worldwide. The company expects that revenue forecast to climb to $23.9 billion in 2022, and $35.6 billion in 2024.

Mel Cossette at Edmonds Workshop

This year the report is at 369 pages. Wohlers Report 2019 draws upon expertise of 80 authors and contributors located in 32 countries. Wohlers Associates also received input from 127 service providers, 71 manufacturers of industrial systems, and 30 producers of desktop 3D printers and third-party materials around the world. It is filled with insights and data, such as,

  • Benefits and challenges of designing for AM
  • The overall materials segment of the industry saw record growth in 2018. A great deal of research and development was carried out in this area in 2018, particularly on high-performance thermoplastics.

Among the important trends, particularly relevant to the Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials (TEAMM), are knowledge and skills development, and materials development, as well as industry standards. In addition to these AM trends, among the 80 authors in the report, the TEAMM Network’s Principal Investigator, Mel Cossette, contributed a section within Part 7: Research and Development of the Wohlers Report 2019.

Ms. Cossette provided an overview of the TEAMM project summarizing some of its work over the last year, including:

      • “The role of materials development in advancing AM process capabilities is vital. With newly developed materials available for 3D printing, it is important for AM technicians to understand the properties they can provide.”
      • Highlights of TEAMM’s work with the AM News blog on the 4TEAMM.org website.
      • The TEAMM Network facilitates the delivery of annual workshops and presentations focused on AM and materials.
      • TEAMM and Tennessee Tech collaborated with Purdue University to develop and present a virtual reality curriculum using VR as a tool to teach AM.

Edmonds VR Workshop

With the AM industry on a radical growth curve, heading toward a big jump in overall revenue of $15.8 billion for all AM products and services worldwide in 2020, TEAMM and its Network partners are in a good place for serving the needs of AM and Materials Science technicians.

NOTE: Wohlers Associates is also a TEAMM Network member.

Intelitek Is Making A Difference In AM And Technician Education

AM News is highlighting different Network members to show how they are making a difference in additive manufacturing and technician education. TEAMM Network member, Intelitek, is making a difference in increasing and improving robotics and STEM curricula around the USA and the world.

Intelitek provides educational institutions with interactive technological learning environments.

According to their website, their innovative and award-winning educational initiatives have “helped students from middle and high schools to post-secondary institutions gain crucial career building skills that will ensure their future employability.” Their programs have been taught in in over 50 countries, educating students in over 26,000 schools, labs and institutes, and teaching over 500 different training topics. In the short YouTube video below, you can get a quick overview.

For example, they provide project-based learning curricula to many of the community colleges in states that have dual enrollment programs. Dual enrollment is when high school students can enroll in a nearby community college earning their Associates degree at the same time they complete their high school requirements. Here in Washington State, where the TEAMM Network is based, our program is called Running Start.

In New York State, Intelitek helps the Adirondack Community College / High School program known as BOCES, offer a project-based learning program that features hands-on activities with industrial-level manufacturing equipment. Students can access online curriculum that is integrated with projects that use classroom hardware for topics like CAD, precision measurement, mechanical systems and electrical systems.

The BOCES program also helps students prepare for the well known MSSC certification exams, such as the Certified Production Technician (CPT) and representatives from the program expressed that the Intelitek courses help students get ready for them.

Intelitek has been transforming education and bringing robotics into classrooms across the globe through comprehensive technology learning solutions for more than 30 years. Their specialized focus on training systems for advanced manufacturing gives educators an advantage in their teaching. In addition to the core STEM offering, they have add-on modules for robotics, 3D printing, energy systems, and other manufacturing-oriented topics.

We are honored to have them as a member for the great work they are doing in producing results for students and teachers.

If you are interested to learn more about integrating STEM into your curriculum, download this 2019 white paper on How to Make STEM Part of the Mainstream Curriculum.

Met-L-Flo Adds Value To Technician Education In AM

With its heritage as the second largest manufacturing city in the U.S., for much of the 20th century, Chicago was well known for metal fabrication. Although large manufacturing plants with booming smokestacks are a stereotypical image for the industry, much of America’s manufacturing output came from small and midsize family-owned businesses. Their impact was far from small: From electrical machinery to iron and steel products, machine tools to fabricated metals, Chicago sold manufactured goods all over the world.

UPDATE 15APR: At AMUG this year, Met-L-Flo tied for First Place with its entry of the “Master Chief” print. Congratulations to Bill Braune and the team.

Met-L-Flo ties for First Place Award at AMUG 2019 with "Master Chief"
Met-L-Flo ties for First Place Award at AMUG 2019 with “Master Chief”

As manufacturing shifts to more advanced methods, it is not surprising to find that only an hour straight west of Chicago sits a well-known voice in the world of additive manufacturing (AM). Met-L-Flo is a 3D printing and rapid prototyping service bureau headed by Carl Dekker, President of the company, and active advocate in two of the most prominent AM organizations: the ASTM F42 Committee and the Additive Manufacturing Users Group known as AMUG.

AMUG Board 2018 2019
Newly elected AMUG Board. Front row (L to R): Mark Barfoot, Leslie Frost, Carl Dekker and Tom Sorovetz. Back row (L to R): Vince Anewenter, Jamie Cone, Paul Bates, Todd Grimm and Gary Rabinovitzrof
   Note: You can read the full news post on the AMUG Board here.

Met-L-Flo Engineering was founded in 1969 as a consulting firm for the metal forging industry. Carl Dekker, current president of the company, introduced Additive Manufacturing in 1991 and Met-L-Flo, the service bureau, was born. The service company offers a wide range of rapid prototyping methods; rotational molding/casting, fiber-reinforced plastics, composites, and vacuum/thermoforming. Their services also include most of the leading additive technologies (3D Printing) in SLA, SLS, FDM, Direct Metal and Polyjet.

Carl served as the Chairman and Past Chairman (current) on the ASTM Committee F42. He is now serving as a vice president for AMUG.  With a background in additive manufacturing and his work on international standards, it makes a lot of sense that Carl would join the TEAMM Coordination Network.

With the Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials (TEAMM) project working to address critical gaps in technician education involving additive and materials science, having someone deeply familiar with the ASTM skills standards is essential to helping support the TEAMM Network. We are happy to have Carl and Met-L-Flo involved and sharing the value of higher skills for technicians.

TEAMM Network Member Dr. Ismail Fidan Profiled In News

At TEAMM and AM News, we like to celebrate when our members receive recognition for their accomplishments. Recently, Dr. Ismail Fidan from Tennessee Tech University (TTU) was profiled in the regional newspaper, the Cookeville Herald-Citizen, for being a researcher focused on how additive manufacturing is making an impact on everyday life.

Dr. Ismail Fidan profiled in Cookeville Herald-Citizen

The article highlighted that, “Fidan Is working towards securing his 10th grant funded by the National Science Foundation, which would bring the amount of grants funded for his research to more than $4.6 million during his time at TTU, all related to additive manufacturing. He has been working in the field for nearly 15 years.”

The profile also mentions how he has worked “with other institutions to establish an additive manufacturing laboratory framework, including a smartphone app that helps institutions work together, collaborate and share resources for 3D printing projects.” This includes the AM lab at Edmonds Community College.

AM News, of course, has written about the importance of Dr. Fidan’s Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Virtual Lecture Series (SEE NOTE for last two events for Spring 2019 below), a web-based presentation series given by national and international experts in additive manufacturing. So far, the series has trained more than 500 people in the diverse applications of additive manufactur­ing. In addition to these web-based lectures, Fidan organizes an annual workshop on additive manufacturing to address gaps in the current knowledge base of technicians through the development of curriculum and educational materials and sup­port to more than 30 community college and high school instructors per year.

There is still time to join in on the final two lectures (click that above link for more info OR you can click this Zoom link in any web browser at 11am U.S. Central Standard Time):

      • Thursday, March 28: Preparing Your Model for 3D Printing with Adam Wills, Master II Instructor, Computer Aided Design Technology, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Nashville
      • Thursday, April 18: Project iGen: Using Additive Manufacturing for Service Learning with Amy Fricks, Math Teacher, DeKalb County High School, Tennessee.

You can also peruse the entire 2016 through 2018 Additively Innovative Lecture Series archive here.

Hats off to Dr. Fidan for the recent media mention as well as his commitment to the combination of additive manufacturing and technician education.

Demand Grows For 3D Printing Technician Education At Undergraduate And Graduate Levels

There is a worldwide emphasis and need to increase skills in additive manufacturing. One only need look around at the number of educational and for-profit ventures building out detailed degree programs and curricula to see it.

In the news last month, Wichita State University announced a new 3D Printing Technician Graduate Certificate program at WSU. It is exciting to see this higher level program in addition to the many we see in motion and developing at community college and 4-year college programs.

Dr. Ismail Fidan at TTU
Dr. Ismail Fidan at TTU

We talked to TEAMM Collaboration Network member, Dr. Ismail Fidan, who is a professor of Engineering at Tennessee Tech and associate author of the Wohlers Report, updating the annual academic R&D and education trends in AM around the world. Dr. Fidan shared that “There is no fully dedicated AM degree program at the public community college and university level within the ABET accreditation records. But there are several manufacturing degree programs. I personally believe that there will be some coming in the future.”

According to Dr. Fidan, there are several Master and certification programs on AM around the world. Some of the more recent ones are the Metal AM MS Program which will be offered by Cranfield University, UK. SME also came up with an AM certification program for the Community College level. (Links below.)

AM News profiled the Somerset Community College Offers 3D Printing Technician Certificate in mid-2018. Thanks to Tennessee Tech University (TTU) College of Engineering with its Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series, an online webinar event that reaches people around the world. We learned about the Somerset certificate program through the webinar.

Wohlers Associates (publisher of the above-mentioned report), also a TEAMM member, created a unique Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) course that has since been requested by other companies and organizations. Terry Wohlers writes about the Impact of DfAM here.

Additive manufacturing is growing and its future looks bright. If you know of other degree programs and courses aimed at helping technicians, engineers, and other manufacturing specialists increase their skills, please get in touch so we can add them to our growing list and potential upcoming posts.

Further reference:

  • More info on the Wichita State University 3D Printing Technician Graduate Certificate program.
  • ABET is a nonprofit, ISO 9001 certified organization that accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.
  • Cranfield University in Bedford, UK, has just received official approval to launch a new Master’s Degree in Metal Additive Manufacturing. Now accepting applications for October 2019 intake, this MSc will give students direct access to the university’s state-of-the-art Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) systems, and the chance to work on projects for the WAAMMat consortium of 20 industrial partners.
  • SME: The Additive Manufacturing Technician Certification is ideal for a candidate with a two-year associates degree in additive manufacturing or currently enrolled in a college program, and/or has one or more years of working experience in a manufacturing related field. The prep course covers key roles and responsibilities for an AM technician, the AM process chain, design for AM, material and process selection, secondary processes, and key safety considerations. The certification exam is a three-hour proctored, open-book and open-note exam consisting of 120 multiple choice questions.