Additive Manufacturing

NOV 2018

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING is the magazine devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing and digital layering technology. We cover the promise and the challenges of this technology for making functional tooling and end-use production parts.

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CATEGORY: E Education S M A RT FO R CE 9 By Gregory Jones Vice President – Smartforce Development AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology Our industry's task of doing battle against the skills gap has been under- way for decades now. Are we showing any signs of progress? Yes. I think that we can point to the recent Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2018 to find very concrete signs of progress. Since 2012, we've seen registered attendance at the Student Summit increasing on an upward trajectory from 9,300 educa- tors and students to 15,000 in 2014; 17,000+ in 2016; and more than 24,000 in 2018. In 2018, we also saw our registrations among college students—both community college and engineering schools—increase by 32 percent to about 7,400, and those students came from 45 different states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, as well as from Canada and Mexico. As I walked the show at IMTS and talked with these students, I found that many of them came with resumes in hand. They were mostly nearing gradua- tion and workforce readiness and they came to IMTS looking for career opportunities. Among the more than 24,000 registered attendees, we are growing the number of high school, STEM middle school and STEM elementary school students who participate. Through Student Mentor Labs, project-based learning options, and STEAM and STEM project challenges, we're giving students ideas about what their career pathways could look like and hopefully, as a result, they'll choose a career in manufacturing. For the Student Summit, it's really less about the quantity of students who attend and more about the quality of the expe- rience that we can present them to spark their interests. There were 80 exhibits and more than 25,000 square feet of exhibit space in the summit for students to experience. Working with the City Colleges of Chicago, we helped to launch a STEAM Expo designed to spark an interest in manufacturing through a project-based learning challenge for high school students. The "Safe Stopping Robot" challenge was created by Project SYNCERE, a community-based organization from the south side of Chicago, and enabled students to design Signs of Progress a robot that turned itself off when it leaves a "safe" area. Stu- dents utilized principles of mechanical and electrical engineer- ing to design their robot out of everyday items, for example a plastic cup, a couple of AA batteries and wire. The goal of this project was for students to learn how to build a simple ma- chine, learn about open and closed circuits, and work in teams to complete the design challenge. In the Student Mentor Lab area, we had college students and a couple of high school teams showing off their robotics projects, high-mileage vehicles and Baja car builds to encourage younger students to explore an education in STEM. joined us at the summit again with its 3D printing air rocket challenge with a newly redesigned launch control mechanism built by Festo, as well as a new launch silo that allowed for longer down-range distance and ample tra- jectory angle. Rippl3D also hosted its new Mission Mars Rover Challenge that allowed high school teams to design and build miniature Mars Rover models that they were able to run down a sandy track and a rocky track simulating the surface of Mars. Robots of all colors—yellow, blue, red, orange, gray and green—were on full display in the Summit. On September 15th, we hosted "Into Orbit," the season competition launch for FIRST Illinois Robotics' FIRST Lego League (FLL). In addition to hosting 600 FLL Team coaches and teammates, NASA astro- naut Capt. Wendy Lawrence provided a series of inspirational keynote addresses on her experiences in space to the teams. We'll keep fighting the good fight to change perceptions about careers in manufacturing and we'll keep you updated on our progress. For more frequent updates or a history of the Summit on social media, follow my Twitter timeline @GregoryAJones. Rich East High School (Park Forest, Illinois) at the IMTS 2018 Student Summit

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