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.

VR Lab at The FACILITY Makerspace at Edmonds Community College

Edmonds Community College is known for its work in training technicians in additive manufacturing and materials science. Now they are adding a project to an existing on-campus makerspace that will expand its value to students and the community: A Virtual Reality (VR) Lab.

Many colleges and universities around the nation and the world have makerspaces, but most are available only to students. Edmonds Community College takes a wider view and started THE FACILITY as a community-based makerspace in addition to student access.

According to the website: “The FACILITY is housed in Monroe Hall, (an 11,000 square foot building with state-of-the-art equipment) to the local community and provides a collaborative space where ordinary people with extraordinary ideas can come together and gain access to the tools, training, and community you need to turn your thoughts into things.

“The FACILITY is based on a DIY philosophy and the launch of our Rapid Proto Lab gives you hands on access to the most essential, exciting, and versatile Makerspace equipment: a Laser Cutter, 3D Printers, a CNC Router, and 3D Scanners. This is a game changing opportunity for Makers of all kinds: artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, students, educators, hobbyists, side-giggers, and world changers.”

Now, thanks to collaboration in another National Science Foundation grant (the college is already known for its national Materials Science education website known as MatEdU), and in partnership with Purdue University, “the college is working on developing an innovative multi-modal VR framework for Digital Manufacturing instruction. One of the priorities is to establish a VR Immersion Lab that can provide design and development opportunities to the local community, and collaboration with other makerspaces, as part of The FACILITY,” David Voetmann, director of The FACILITY, said.

Stay tuned for more immersive experiences and news.

Mark Your Calendar: Additive Aerospace Conference Scheduled

In its fifth year, the Additive Aerospace conference is scheduled for October 18 through 20, 2017 in downtown Los Angeles. With a major lineup of speakers from industry and government: NASA, FAA, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, GE, US Navy, US Air Force, and others will share their expertise about how additive manufacturing is advancing within the aerospace and aviation industries.

As an organization that supports materials science and additive manufacturing (and standards around both), the TEAMM Network is pleased to report that two of its members will be presenting on one of the event panels. Carl Dekker, owner of Met-L-Flo and the ASTM F42 Committee chairman and Pat A. Picariello, Director, Developmental Operations of ASTM International.

Continue reading “Mark Your Calendar: Additive Aerospace Conference Scheduled”

The Power Of A 3D Printer In Business

With our jobs post, 3D Printing and Materials Skills In Demand, we had a number of conversations about entrepreneurial opportunities in the world of Additive Manufacturing. Since many new graduates from various materials science or additive manufacturing technician programs often contemplate starting their own 3D printing businesses, this post will take a look at some of the non-traditional paths that AM offers to the startup-mindset.

We mentioned 3D Hubs in the April 2017 AM News and it provides a good base of ideas for ways people are operating small print shops. 3D Hubs is an online network of 3D printer owners who operate as mini service bureaus to print parts for customers. It does an annual 3D printer guide (link at end of post) that is one of the best anywhere due to the fact that they have so many owners gathered in one place who are willing to provide input and feedback about their particular models. These are the super-users, the experts who are printing hundreds of objects over many hours, so they have invested a lot more time than the standard hobbyist.

Here is an ongoing, working list of business types that are actively building out 3D printing services to an existing business or a creating a new venture:

Continue reading “The Power Of A 3D Printer In Business”

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.