For many companies, staying competitive and on the leading edge often means finding the most up-to-date and best talent. But companies are challenged trying to figure out the best way to obtain talent as desired skills are becoming scarce. In-house training is timely and expensive. Schools are trying to keep up with technology, but at the speed it is moving today it seems by the time a syllabus and textbook can be created it’s already old news.
Fortunately, some foundations of technology are more sound than the aforementioned. In CAD modeling and simulation, it seems like each day a new technology is outperforming the current one, but understanding how to design and program this technology is a foundation that is not going away soon.
While many colleges and even high schools are coming out with 3D printing training, the Dassault Systèmes U.S. Foundation and Base 11 announced a workforce development initiative focused on training the next generation of engineers with the skills most in-demand by aerospace, high-tech, and transportation industries.
In 2025, Deloitte estimates that 2 million skilled manufacturing jobs will go unfilled. By targeting these skills and teaming with institutions and industry, we can help fill this demand. Automation and disruptive technologies such as 3D printing will help mitigate production, but these positions also require skills.
“This workforce development initiative by Base 11 speaks to the huge demand for trained talent that we’re hearing from employers,” says Al Bunshaft, president, Dassault Systèmes U.S. Foundation. “We are excited to support this innovative initiative that aims to create new educational content with the learning and discovery capabilities of 3D technology and virtual universes. This will offer a solution for employers, while simultaneously changing the lives of underserved students and their communities.” (Check out the video below.)
The pilot will launch this summer at the University of California, Irvine’s Samueli School of Engineering with community college students participating in the Base 11 summer fellowship program being the first to receive training on the collaborative 3-D design solutions. The program features a strong hands-on, project-based learning.
Students learn the basics of aerospace design, computer-aided design, 3D printing, basic electronics, and fabrication techniques through a series of mini projects. The mini projects are a necessary component of the final capstone project, which is a fully operational unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone.
Beginning January 2018, Base 11 will expand the Autonomous Systems Engineering Academy curriculum into a full academic-year college credit-bearing engineering course at three community college campuses in Orange County, Calif., San Francisco, and Phoenix, Ariz., including Orange Coast College, Skyline College, and South Mountain Community College.
No matter how advanced technology becomes, hands-on experience is valuable. By linking hands-on with computer-aided design and simulation, new engineers are coming out of the school system with skills that not only will slow the growth of the skill gap in manufacturing, but create an acceleration in technology and performance in design as they start entering the field. This technology is being streamlined to CNC machines and 3D printers to find new creative solutions that will positively disrupt manufacturing to aid in cover unfilled positions.
In 3D printing alone we have seen how it has improved, and will continue to improve the automotive and aerospace industries. As this trend continues and more students enter the field understanding how to take full advantage in designing with CAD and disruptive technology, it looks like manufacturing is poised for a paradigm shift.