How to train your AM staff

One of the greater challenges for implementing Additive Manufacturing in the industry is the education and training of the workforce:

Machine operators must learn how to handle the 3D printers’ special features for producing components that meet the high requirements of the market. Designers should learn to consider the additional benefits of Additive Manufacturing as early as in the development process to promote the technology out of the niche of spare parts business or the reworking of existing components.

For this purpose, numerous market participants offer further education and training on various topics. The search for appropriate offers is time-consuming and the offers are difficult or even impossible to compare. This is due on the one hand to often superficial descriptions of the training content, and on the other hand to the high degree of individuality of the offerings, which are to be developed for customers depending on their needs and prior knowledge.

MGA has recognized these issues and wants to help make the training landscape more transparent. This will support companies, venturing into the field of Additive Manufacturing, to get started and provide guidance in choosing appropriate training.

Based on this motivation, the networks working group “Education” has developed a modular training system that is designed to meet the different requirements of workplaces, based on the experience of various industry participants from all parts of the process chain, together with training providers and certification bodies. It is basically based on the process diagram of DIN Spec 17071.

WeBoostAM.com: The AM platform

The biggest goal of MGA is to boost AM into industrial series production. To reach it, we need way more awareness of our technology in all areas of industry as well as certified production processes. There will certainly never be “enough” new applications. One fact is clear to all our members: We will not achieve that goal as individual players. Hence, we agreed on sharing our knowledge with everyone interested in Additive Manufacturing, following the mission of enabling more companies to adopt the technology and thus increasing its impact on the manufacturing industry. Finding an adequate way to share our findings became a key element of our process.

In 2018 the Working Group Education came up with the idea to create a map-based platform with all our network members listed with their own company profile. Based on the member company listings we wanted to create transparency and so we added more listing types step by step. Based on a filter property model elaborated by the Digital Supply Chain Working group, companies are now able to share successfully implemented AM Use Cases to give AM newcomers orientation and good practice examples for their own start in the field of 3D printing.

But we did not stop with companies and use cases, we also added with the help of the Materials Working Group a Materials Compass, that is intended to give all users an overview of which materials are available on the market and, above all, to which mechanical requirements they fit. Because we all know that in AM the range of materials is even greater than the number of different technologies.

Last but not least and again with the help of the Materials Working Group we compiled AM-relevant standards and come up with a filter logic that allows a quick overview of the standards landscape in AM.

So are you looking for a service provider specialised in printing Aluminium? Do you need impressions of Use Cases printed in Steel for your next project? Do you want to get inspiration of the latest innovative ideas from other professionals? Or are you just missing a standard for testing plastic parts? All this and much more can be found on the platform. And the best about it: The entries are connected to each other through their properties and are thus cross-searchable!

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