How to Become a 3D Printing Expert

3D printing is not a new technology, but it has recently become more accessible for professionals and smaller 3D printing studios. Those interested in becoming 3D printing experts may wish to enter into the field through 3D design or 3D engineering.

What is a 3D Printing Expert?

$58,510
Bachelor's Degree
None
Moderate-term
66,500
8%
5,500
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

3D printing uses new types of technology to print 3D objects based on 3D computer renders. The technology has been used for a long time for automotive shops and for small implements developed by large corporations. Recently, however, the technology has become accessible even for home users. New technology has made it possible for 3D printers to be constructed in a very small format. Many smaller shops are now using 3D printers to manufacture parts and to become more competitive with larger corporations.

A 3D printing expert is someone who is well-versed with 3D printing technology. They should be familiar with the mechanics of 3D printing devices, their requirements for use and the software used to create 3D images. 3D printing experts may work directly to create 3D models or they may work solely on the technology that prints the models. The industry of small scale manufacturing is growing and is expected to continue to do so throughout the next decade.

What Does a 3D Printing Expert Do?

A 3D printing expert will take a 3D render and adjust it to the format necessary to print within the machine. Once the 3D render is printed, the 3D printing expert may need to adjust the 3D object in a myriad of ways to make it more feasible or accurate. Some experts may actually create these 3D renders from scratch. These renders can be created from blueprints or they can be created by manually scanning items that need to be reproduced.

Presently, 3D printing is most often utilized for the production of small and simple parts in plastic or metal. More complex parts, such as circuitry, are expected to be possible soon. The industry has been growing in complexity as well as in volume, and those within the industry will likely be required to keep upon the rapidly advancing technology. Sculptors and illustrators will sometimes work in this field through the use of 3D scanning technology. According to O*Net Online, sculpting is a falling industry, and it could be augmented through the use of technology.

How Do You Become a 3D Printing Expert?

The most common background to a 3D printing expert would either be in engineering or in 3D design. Most 3D printing experts would have a Bachelor’s Degree related to one of these fields, but this is not strictly necessary. 3D printing experts will often work with a company that produces 3D parts, but some of them might manufacture their own goods for retail sale or for use in consumer products. Some 3D printing experts are self-trained, though this is rare and requires the acquisition of a 3D printing product. Multimedia artists, which is a field with slower than average growth according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, may be able to move into this field to find new options for work.

How Do You Advance as a 3D Printing Expert?

Successful 3D printing experts can move from small companies to larger corporations and develop expertise in a multitude of different 3D printing technologies. As designers, they may be able to elevate themselves within the profession with successful products and a large portfolio of work. As the technology further develops, experts that are able to use more complex types of 3D printer will become more in demand. This includes those that can use them for circuitry design.

3D printing experts can also start their own manufacturing plants. The popularity of the industry is primarily due to its low barrier of entry, as a 3D printer and the associated software are much less expensive than traditional methods of fabrication. This makes it easier than ever for even individuals to begin their own small scale manufacturing plants.

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