Why engineers cannot ignore 3D Printing
Whether you work in R&D, or you are a software, mechanical or electrical engineer, there are some reasons for which you cannot ignore 3D printing. Here are three of the reasons, but you will eventually tell us more!
One of the first areas that 3D Printing has impacted immensely. In fact, making a prototype in a short time and at a reduced cost is a doubtless advantage. 3D printed prototypes allow to test shapes, materials, size and functionality of engineering parts. Therefore, 3D printing highlights potential flaws and promptly gives guidelines for eventual correction. Moreover, the flexibility of 3D printing offers the possibility to change shapes in short times and at low costs. For example, Volkswagen declares that thanks to the additive manufacturing technology, compared to more traditional engineering methods, they can test innovative solutions without relying on third parties. This will save them a lot of time and costs. However, 3D printing is now moving beyond just prototyping, finding further applications in all types of industries and being used from low to medium scale production. May 3D printing be ready for mass production soon, too?
See our video discussion on this exact topic here.
Engineering is changing
Industries are changing, and with them the manufacturing methods as we know them today. The shift in manufacturing focus from CNC and Injection Moulding to 3D printing is reflecting on engineering jobs inasmuch as in engineering degrees. A few university courses, such as the innovative 3D Bioprinting Master’s or the graduate program of Additive Manufacturing and Design (AMD), are great examples of how education is changing to shape new professionals that can meet the market demand for the additive manufacturing industry.
Materials & Chemical Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering/Mechatronics, Civil Engineering, 3D Modelling/Industrial Design are all disciplines where 3D printing is leaving its evident footprints.
If you are an engineer and you know about 3D printing, then you are likely to up-skill more easily and improve your employability more than your fellows who ignore the upcoming technology. Whether you work with CAD, 3D printers or you just have a genuine interest in additive manufacturing, this will provide you with a competitive advantage in the recruitment process and when it comes to negotiating your salary. In such an emerging industry, the more knowledgeable you are, the harder it is for employers to let you go.
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