By the year 2020, the 3D printing industry will be worth $20.2 billion. This massive amount was calculated from the 35.2 percent increase (CAGR) that the industry had in just one year. It was valued at $3.3 billion in 2014, and had jumped to $5.2 billion this year. This massive growth can be attributed to the breadth of applications that 3D printing serves.
Additive manufacturing can print anything from cars to actual human stem cells, and as a result, an increasing number of niche industries are starting to sprout from it.
Aside from niche industries, the demand for titanium is also expected to rise. Titanium is the primary metal used in this groundbreaking technology, and a consistent supply coming from mines such as Chile’s White Mountain Titanium Corporation (OTCQB:WMTM) will provide the market with enough titanium to sustain it.
Thus, it only makes sense to prepare the next generation for this booming industry, and the best preparation always comes in the form of education. Starting this year, colleges and universities from around the world are offering 3D printing courses.
The University of Louisville in Kentucky has partnered up with UL LLC, a safety sciences company, to build a 3D printing and additive manufacturing training center. Called the UL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center (UL AMMC), the training facility will open on this year’s fall semester classes.
The center will train students to become experts in the additive manufacturing industry, with hands-on training for up-to-date technologies. Co-owned by the University of Louisville and UL LLC, the facility will offer a curriculum designed to build knowledge on intensive metal 3D printing techniques, such as design corrections, setting up and designing additive manufacturing equipment, post-processing, print jobs, parts inspection, testing, and validation.
Monitored and developed every six months, the UL AMMC curriculum will also let students work with developing materials, safety systems, and ample knowledge of safety features. UL’s vice president of Digital Manufacturing, Simin Zhou, said that the facility will help in providing a qualified workforce for the continually evolving technology.
“We anticipate the UL AMCC will expand over time to take on additional innovations to advance manufacturing. As additive manufacturing gets deeper and more integrated into production lines, the training center will evolve real time to arm workforces with the most up-to-date knowledge and best practices,” said Zhou.
In Guangzhou, China, thousands of students will benefit from a similar kind of education, only years ahead. Zhuhai West Electronics handed over 30 3D printers to serve as training tools for 3D printing courses to be offered to over 300,00 students in primary and secondary schools in Guangzhou City starting next year. This came after the successful 3D printing seminar arranged by the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Education and the Guangzhou Municipal Science and Technology Bureau for 110 primary and secondary teachers in the area.
“3D printing is the most advanced technology and is essential to teaching students about advanced manufacturing methods. The purpose of basic education is to develop a child’s future career potential, and one of the basic elements of such development will be their ability to adapt to the times,” said Yang Yusheng, chairman of Zhuhai West.
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