October 1, 2019
In October, novices to additive manufacturing (AM) have the chance to take a special DfAM (design for additive manufacturing) course to understand how to design parts and assemblies to take advantage of 3D printing. Offered in partnership with America Makes, the event will be organized and led by Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates, and other instructors. DE is also a media partner of America Makes.
The one-day DfAM course will take place in Youngstown, OH, on October 24.
Wohlers Associates publishes the annual Wohlers Report that outlines the market trends and leading players in the AM industry. According to the 2019 report, “the largest application of AM in 2018 is the production of end-use parts … Jigs, fixtures, and other forms of tooling—a combined 18.5%—represent an important range of applications that can save companies a tremendous amount of time and money.”
To take advantage of AM to consolidate parts and reduce weight, the CAD geometry needs to be treated differently—a skill that early adopters need to acquire. The upcoming course from Wohlers Associates covers topology optimization, creating lattice structures and working with metal, polymer and composite materials.
The organizers point out the course is ideal for “those involved in aerospace, medical, motor sports, power/energy, industrial machinery, automotive, and consumer products.” The one-day course in Youngstown lists about 12 separate presentations and lectures, ranging from “State of the AM industry” to “Economics of AM.” There will also be an expert panel session, hands-on exercises related to part consolidation, and sessions related to polymer AM processes and designing for metal AM.
“AM is an inherently multidisciplinary technology,” says Ray Huff, associate engineer and DfAM instructor at Wohlers Associates. “Just as product development teams must rethink the way a product is designed, company management must also gain an appreciation for the new methods, software tools, and considerations that AM presents. Unlocking the vast potential of AM requires a broad understanding of both the opportunities and challenges.”
The course targets managers and executives, focusing on the economics and cost-benefit analysis of DfAM. CAD software and computers are not required for this event.
The Wohlers course is being held in conjunction with the America Makes Members Meeting & Exchange (MMX) event in Youngstown on October 22 and 23. The annual members event includes updates on the latest information on the institute, and offers reports on new technical content and AM research projects, as well as networking opportunities for members and local stakeholders.
The organization recently celebrated its seventh anniversary in August.
“This is a really exciting time for the Institute as we have a great deal of learnings and achievements from the last seven years,” says America Makes Executive Director John Wilczynski. “We are acutely aware of the needs of our industry from commercial and defense sectors. We are grateful for all of the support from the DoD, Air Force Research Laboratory, and other government stakeholders. As the pilot Institute, we have proved that the public-private collaborative model is effective and important to the ongoing economic success of U.S. manufacturing industry. We transitioned from the initial start-up phase and then onto an incredibly driven project execution phase to where we are today—promoting and leading innovation.