- Manufacture a variety of items using 3D technology
- You'll need the ability to operate and control equipment
- Opportunities to move into research, investigating new materials
As a 3D printing technician, you'll manufacture a variety of products using 3D printing technology.
- Taking customer orders and giving job quotes
- Advising customers on which materials to use
- Creating digital models and prototypes based on customer requirements
- Operating 3D scanning and printing machinery
- Applying finishes to products
- Checking quality
- Servicing and repairing equipment
You could work at a manufacturing plant, in a factory, or at a research facility. You working environment may be noisy.
To be a 3D printing technician, you'll need knowledge of manufacturing production and processes, knowledge of engineering science and technology, the ability to operate and control equipment, thoroughness and attention to detail, analytical thinking skills, the ability to work well with others, knowledge of maths, and the ability to analyse quality or performance.
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in a relevant subject like 3D design, product design, engineering, or materials science.
You could also take a course in creative design, model making or engineering. This could help you find a job with a manufacturing or 3D printing company. These courses include Level 2 Certificate in Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing, Level 3 Certificate in 3D Design, Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Technology, and T level in Digital Production, Design and Development.
Alternatively, you could do an advanced apprenticeship in digital engineering.
You might also be able to start as an assistant in a 3D print workshop and take training on the job to become a technician. Skills and qualifications in model making, printing, technology or design would be useful.
With experience, you could move into research, investigating new materials for use in 3D printing and how to make them commercially workable. You could also train to work in 3D printing software and hardware development. You might work for a company that specialises in printing particular items, for example custom-made prosthetics, construction prototypes, or models of archaeological remains and historical buildings. There are also opportunities in print equipment sales and training.