How will GE overcome 3D printing skills gap?

How will GE overcome the 3d printing skills gap?

GE’s commitment to apply the full potential of additive manufacturing technologies into the aerospace, energy and medical fields, is unquestionable and it’s not new.

Having the expertise and the resources of the world’s digital industrial company actively involved in the development of AM is undoubtedly very positive. We are definitely closer to enable the new industrial revolution!

That being said, GE will still face the same challenges than the rest of the AM industry:

  • Skills Shortage
  • Print Quality
  • Materials
  • Speed and Cost of the 3D printers
  • Applications
  • Software

Alexander Daniels Global has been +5 years helping AM companies in the US, Europe and APAC, to overcome the different challenges highlighted above.

That’s the reason why we can say that having the right talented professionals on-board is the key to succeed in additive manufacturing.

Although GE is already doing a good job on talent acquisition in other engineering fields, how could they articulate a solution to overcome this structural skills gap in Additive Manufacturing?



Taking a look at GE’s careers website, we see that they are currently recruiting professionals with Additive Manufacturing experiences for:

  • Product Management Director,
  • DMLS Machine Operators/ Engineers,
  • Materials Engineers and
  • Interns to participate in the Edison Engineering Development Program for Aero Systems/ Medical.

Let’s try to explain why the current AM skills shortage could make the talent search for these positions challenging.

Product Management Director:

GE requires a professional capable of forming and leading an emerging product incubation team for Additive Manufacturing. So, a professional with strong experience in 3D printing.

The reason behind the difficulty of hiring experienced AM professionals is simple: “In the past there was a limited access to Additive Manufacturing which means that now there are not so many professionals with AM experience suitable for senior and strategic positions”.

In addition to that, the global 3D printing industry is expected to grow from $4.1 billion in revenue in 2014 to $12.8 billion by 2018, and its worldwide revenue to exceed $21 billion by 2020.

Therefore, the whole AM industry is recruiting and GE is competing with other big/interesting AM players for a limited pool of senior AM candidates.


DMLS Operators:

The generation of DMLS Operators depends on how accessible this technology owned by EOS is and, in addition to that, the interest of professionals for AM, manufacturing and starting operating/playing with these AM systems.

GE has of course an excellent in-house training program, but does GE have access to universities/ research centers/ educational and training institutions using DMLS systems?

That’s critical for bringing professionals with already valuable expertise as DMLS Operators.

That being said, after GE acquires Arcam and Concept Laser, how easy/difficult will be for GE to have access to EOS’ technology and expertise?


Edison Engineering Development Program – Aero Systems/ Medical:

The second point highlighted above is a little bit more tricky and complicated and it requires an educational effort from the whole AM industry:

“Taking into account the limited interest of young professionals in manufacturing and their genuine interest in industries like IoT, big data, VR, drones and smart homes… How could GE engage top young professionals with additive manufacturing, the new industrial revolution and the Edison Engineering Development Progams?”

If we want to engage top talent with AM, we all should change this negative perception of manufacturing for the young workforce.

“Besides the obvious issues related to print quality, materials, software and development of new applications, GE will also find challenging to bring top young/senior Additive Manufacturing talents to achieve their ambitious AM plan”



In addition to understanding why there is a skills shortage in the AM industry, why the AM industry will keep increasing headcounts and salaries, and how all of that will affect GE Additive Manufacturing, we also think that it’s important to learn about:

  • The 3 Key Points That GE Should Focus on to Overcome any Related Issue to AM Talent
  • Practical Tips on Talent Acquisition in AM
  • Why Are Soft Skills So Important for GE Next Hires in AM?
  • The Importance of Retaining GE current 3DP Talent, or why they could lose them?
  • 2 Training Strategies to Evolve and Succeed in AM

That together with being aware of the average salaries in AM by disciplines, seniority and locations, will definitely help GE to excel in recruiting, training and retaining AM professionals.

alexander daniels global is a recruitment company specialized in additive manufacturing

At Alexander Daniels Global, we have a simple vision:
‘To enable the Industrial Revolution in Additive Manufacturing through talent.’  We support organisations in the additive manufacturing industry to achieve their strategic objectives by partnering with them to identify, attract, engage and recruit high calibre professionals globally. We also work with talented individuals to source opportunities which will add value to their career.

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