Additive Manufacturing

MAY 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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MAY 2018 Additive Manufacturing FEATURE / Education & Training 34 By Brent Donaldson Additive Manufacturing Goes to College As additive manufacturing workforce needs grow and AM technologies evolve, what does a higher-ed additive program look like? Is additive manufacturing a college major, minor or something else? I'm seated near the back of a classroom at Auburn University, listening to the 12th lecture of the semester by Dr. Ruel Overfelt, an Auburn engineering professor whose revered depth of knowl- edge is masked by a dry sense of humor and folksy southern drawl. The class is MECH-5970: Additive Manufacturing of Met- als, and by this point in the semester we're deep into the syllabus. The easier material, the "fun" topics that may have attracted many of the 55 students in this classroom to additive manufac- turing education—the lectures on laser systems, electron beam and arc welding, safety issues surrounding metal powders—are distant memories by now. Spring break is around the corner, and today we're diving headlong into materials science. Pro- fessor Overfelt, spry, white-haired and known by colleagues as Tony, is whipsawing between chalkboard equations and projec- tor slides on temperature-versus-time precipitation mapping, the molecular differences between coarse and fine pearlite, the effects of carbon diffusion across various metals, elongated iron carbide particles in alpha iron... You get the idea. In other words, the class feels like what you'd expect from an upper-level engineering course at an elite university. What it doesn't feel like is transformational, or revolutionary, or even particularly modern—all of which it is. The fact that these stu- dents are here, that this class exists, and that Auburn University offers a Certificate in Additive Manufacturing, are all clues to a sea change taking place in advanced manufacturing across the industrialized world. This class and the program behind it are a response to American business owners and managers who utilize AM, and who are asking similar questions with growing concern: Where are the engineers and machine technicians with additive manufacturing experience? Where do we turn for talent? Who's going to work for us? In Auburn's case, its new Certificate in Additive Manu- facturing, and more broadly, the university's new Center for Industrialized Additive Manufacturing, is largely a response to one business in particular. You can probably guess which business—it's the one printing LEAP fuel nozzle injectors about five miles southwest of campus. And the dynamic between this business and the university may provide a roadmap to additive manufacturing education across the United States. "We Know How Universities Work" It's no secret in Auburn, Alabama, that GE, and specifically

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