3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a fast-moving field. New applications for the technology are being found all the time and you could work in engineering, medicine, product design or even in the film industry.
3D printing builds up 3D objects in thin layers, ‘printing’ them in plastic or sometimes metal.
There are several stages to the process, each using different software. A virtual model of the object to be printed is developed by a designer in a CAD program. This is then handed over to the 3D print specialist who converts it for the printing machine.
The job is also likely to involve supervising the printing process and making adjustments as necessary.
As a 3D printing specialist, you are unlikely to be designing objects yourself, although your knowledge of the process will provide valuable guidance for the designer.
This is primarily a technical job, but it demands a deep knowledge of the software used and also an appreciation of the design process. This is an area that is moving very rapidly and you would have to keep up with the possibilities offered by the latest technology.
The main requirement for working as a 3D print specialist is in-depth knowledge of the CAD software that is used. You can gain this through taking a degree in engineering or 3D design that covers 3D CAD.
An employer would also expect you to be able to cope with work that is sometimes repetitive and also be able to solve problems as they arise.
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