The growth of 3D printing is making waves across every industry. Although the technology is still in its nascent stage, its application is becoming so versatile and so much in-demand that there is a need and it’s constantly growing. This need is for people who can understand, operate as well as provide innovation through 3D printers and modeling concepts. Another compelling force behind this job growth and industry demand is the realization of the benefits of 3D printers over traditional manufacturing tools. 3D printing technology’s interest is expanding with phenomenal momentum.
With the passage of time, the number of job postings in this industry is increasing and it’s time to sharpen your skills as well as increase your knowledge of this industry. Groundbreaking research was done in this field by Nick Pearce, the founder of Alexander Daniels Global. According to this study, there are only 4.5 candidates for every 3D printing job opening across Europe and North America. And the reason for this is believed to be the lesser level of industrial experience and technical understanding.
And to attract the best person for this job, companies are even ready to offer attractive compensation packages. According to this study, the pay for a machine operator in metal additive manufacturing is around $90,000. The lowest salary Pearce saw was $64,000 for an equipment sales position in the central USA. With all this in place, doesn’t it excite you to know how to get a certification or where to study 3D printing from, to get a job in this field?
Certifications, Programs, Courses and Self-outs
These are some of the programs that will take only a few days or weeks of your time. You can take these courses online or in-person to walk yourself through verifiable skills. Moreover, you can get some hands-on experience through an internship at these places or approach someone in the industry to become your mentor. Additionally, there are webinars hosted by printer manufacturers that cover the 3D printing technology based on which their 3D printers operate, as well as other topics.
Universities that offer certification courses
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers offers Design for Additive Manufacturing with Metal priced anywhere in the range starting from $295 to $695. You can opt for this course in a classroom, virtual, self-study, and in the form of a guided study.
- Purdue University with Barnes Global Awards offers an Additive Manufacturing Certificate Program for Engineers and Managers or for Business professionals priced at $1500. You can opt for this course in instructor-supported online self-study only.
- There is a course titled Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production at MIT for $198. It’s also available in the same way as the course before this is available i.e. in instructor-supported online self-study.
- A course titled Additive Manufacturing Certificate Program is available at the Texas A&M University for $5995. You can learn that in-person or remotely online.
Online platform that offers certification courses
- Autodesk via Coursera offers a course titled Generative Design for Additive Manufacturing, Generative Design for part consolidation at $40 per month.
- Udemy offers a course titled Learn 3D printing at $20 per month.
- Future Learn offers a course titled Additive Manufacturing for Business: Practices and Ecosystem as a part of a monthly subscription at Future Learn.
- Deloitte also offers a course titled Additive Manufacturing for Business via subscription to LinkedIn Learning.
Companies that offer self-study material and Courses
- Markforged offers an online self-study course titled Design for Additive Manufacturing: Plastics and Composites, Design for Additive Manufacturing: Metals for free. This course can be done in the form of online self-study.
- Formlabs proffers How to Design and 3D print molds for casting silicone parts, intro to Desktop 3D printing: compare FDM, DLP, SLS and SLA and more for free in the form of recorded webinars.
- COBOD extends 3D printing Concrete Course for $800 in the form of hands-on and in-person in Copenhagen.
- Stratasys gives Manufacturing applications for FDM composite materials such as Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber, and other specialized topics for free in the form of recorded webinars.
- Forward AM/BASF provides explore Metal 3D printing, Design for Additive Manufacturing, and more for free in the form of e-learning modules and webinars.
Apart from these courses, there are also some courses that indirectly relate to 3D printing technology. Starting with Engineering, 3D printing technology always needs engineers who understand the machine, maintain it and operate the equipment. Especially mechanical, electrical, industrial, and software engineers are known to have a better grasp of the complete process of 3D printing. The other degree is Animation and Design. The 3D design software is used for translating visual concepts into tangible objects. That’s the basic idea of 3D printing technology. So, if you have a background in animation you already have the fundamental understanding required for 3D printing, if you don’t and you’d like to start, Pick 3D Printer has a list of the best free 3D modeling software for beginners, you should check it out, pick the one that works best for you, and start creating.
Software Developers is another degree related to 3D printing. Any 3D printing software is less user-friendly than mainstream applications but the work is still on in that region and there is progress. Gaining a degree in any of the above-mentioned fields can earn you jobs such as a 3D designer wherein you need to materialize concepts by exploring ideas, addressing flaws, and refining models into products. You can be a 3D printing specialist who can prepare files needed for 3D printing. Your sole aim would be to meet customer requirements.
There is also a job titled 3D customization and prototyping. If you are working for this job title your duty would be to understand the requirement of a particular manufacturer, customize a variety of objects such as furniture or medical prosthetics. Apart from these, there are obviously sales of 3D printer materials, accessories, managing client info, technical advising, etc. One thing to note here is that the growth of 3D printing is dramatic and is creating a lot of new jobs which are both creatively as well as mechanically challenging.