In this blog Nick Lazaridis illustrates how 3D printing is expected to make up a substantial proportion of the manufacturing sector in years to come, but in order to realise that potential a significant investment is required in education and training in order to develop the new talent required.
It is now widely accepted that there is a technical skills shortage that urgently needs addressing, and there are some interesting schemes being put in place to help do so. It might sound obvious, but it is well worth remembering that we need to be training for the future, not just the present.
When training schemes are put in place it is often tempting to go through the motions on how things are done now, and not necessarily how they might be done differently in the future. 3D printing instead of the more traditional manufacturing methods is a great example. Rather than replicating their mentors, trainees need to be picking up and championing skills that are new to both them and their organisation.
This demand and supply boom puts 3D printing on the brink of taking a significant slice of the $12 trillion global manufacturing industry. However, there is an obstacle that needs to be overcome to unlock its full potential: there is an urgent need for a transfusion of fresh blood if this nascent industry is to thrive and mature. We need new champions of this technology who can help manufacturers understand the impact it can have on supply chain and product design. To create these leaders of the future we need to educate and inspire the next generation of designers and engineers to ensure we have the right talent to continue to grow the industry.