Protolabs, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, has announced a new collaboration with Wohlers Associates to develop a course on Designing for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), created to help engineers and designers develop practical methods and strategies to get the most from the different AM technologies, including both polymer and metal Additive Manufacturing.
The invitation-only course will take place over three days near Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, concluding at Protolabs’ Additive Manufacturing facility, which at more than 7150 m2 (77,000 ft2) is reported to be the largest in North America. Leading the discussions on the course will be Olaf Diegel, Associate Consultant at Wohlers Associates, and Terry Wohlers, Principle Consultant and President at the company. Diegel also serves as head of the Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab at the University of Auckland.
Joining Wohlers and Diegel will be a number of Additive Manufacturing engineers from Protolabs, said to have expertise in both polymer and metal AM technologies. “Designing for AM offers unique challenges and opportunities not found in traditional design methods,” stated Wohlers. “Protolabs brings tremendous depth of expertise and leadership in 3D printing. We’re thrilled to work together to equip attendees with technical skills and manufacturing knowledge needed to unlock the full potential of additive manufacturing.”
Protolabs stated that the development of the course is a further step towards its larger goal of advancing industrial AM as a legitimate production player in the manufacturing industry. Last year, the company joined GE Additive’s Manufacturing Partner Network and later became a founding member of MIT’s Center for Additive and Digital Advanced Production Technologies (ADAPT), a consortium focused on scaling new manufacturing technology through research, education, actionable insights, and an MIT-based ecosystem that pairs industry and academia.
Vicki Holt, Protolabs’ President and CEO, explained, “Additive Manufacturing has moved well beyond this worn-out notion that it has to prove its worth—we’ve seen firsthand its maturation over the years and have literally 3D printed millions of parts during that time. We know it’s an extremely valuable prototyping tool but it has now made significant strides in materials and technology where production is its logical next phase. Collaborating with the world’s leading additive experts – and those who look to leverage that technology to its fullest – will serve to proliferate the education and adoption of 3D printing.”