The rise of digital technologies has generated more job opportunities. The World Economic Forum predicts that 97 million new roles will be created by 2025 due to the collaboration between machines, algorithms, and humans. One such technology that has produced new careers is 3D printing.
In our post ‘The History of 3D Printing’ we found out that this technology can be traced back to 1980, when Dr. Hideo Kodama filed a patent for a device that could be described as a modern photopolymer printer. Currently, 3D printing is considered a standard solution in industries like jewelry and orthopedics.
According to a 2021 Hindawi study on 3D printing technology, education on 3D printing is gaining substantial importance across different countries. As a result, more people are leveraging the technology to make a career out of it. If you’re interested in pursuing a job in 3D printing, below are a few steps that can help.
Kickstart Your 3D Printing Career Path
1. Have the Right Educational Requirements
3D printing is multifaceted. A Business News Daily feature explains that 3D printers are used in various design disciplines. These include architectural visualization and medical device design.
If you who want to pursue a career path in 3D printing, enlist in programs that tackle design and modeling—like the ones offered by New York University. On the same note, you can also choose to become self-taught by studying online.
Coursera’s Impact Report shows that enrollment numbers for online learning courses rose to 189 million in 2021. Today, platforms like Studocu offer learners comprehensive study guides from over 20 million world-class institutions. Every document is created with a practice set that includes a definition list, flashcard sets, and practice questions. Therefore, you can search for relevant study materials that provide detailed information on, say, customizing 3D designs or new product development.
In a 2023 interview with Finance Strategists, Studocu founder Marnix Broer shared that the platform prioritizes quality. Those who want to secure a job in 3D printing are assured of getting useful documents from the platform, such as those that feature topics in 3D design or 3D CAD modeling.
2. Sharpen your Technical Skills
A career in 3D printing requires you to be equipped with other relevant technical skills. For instance, being knowledgeable in application software is becoming increasingly important. A 2022 Journal of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences study states that technical skills are needed since 3D printing mainly hinges on individual personalized production.
3D printing lacks the software foundation for data sharing. Therefore, it’s hard for companies to integrate 3D printing into their manufacturing processes. This is why you should master application software and design systems. Doing so helps you create solutions that can design 3D models and optimize them for mass production. Check our guide on the best 3D printing software.
Another beneficial technical skill to have is understanding the additive manufacturing process. According to Frontiers study, additive manufacturing of an object involves the deposition of a material layer by layer. Essentially, 3D printing technology allows you to manufacture models in different sizes and proportions. As such, you need to learn how to collect, gather, and evaluate information about the exterior of the model and its internal structures. By understanding the process of additive manufacturing—from sourcing materials to identifying their chemical composition—you can bolster your 3D printing career.
3. Build a Strong Portfolio and Resume
Job seekers should gain hands-on experience in 3D technologies to stay competitive. To showcase the skills you’ve honed during these opportunities, build a detailed portfolio. Here, you can include your original 3D designs. You can also enlist services like ProtoLabs, which can render 3D-printed models of your designs. Although these can be quite pricey since the fee hinges on the raw materials required to make your model, sharing a tangible item can help catch the interest of potential employers.
Interestingly, Business News Daily points out that 3D printing technology has also produced more jobs for research and development professionals. If you want to work in consumer product industries like fashion design, develop a strong resume that details your skills in 3D visualization technologies. This allows you to communicate your knowledge to brands who want to leverage 3D printing for consumer goods.
3D printing has ushered in new career opportunities. Hopefully, the above tips can help you find success in the industry.