In many ways you can measure the growth of an industry by the number of educational programs. Take the 3D printing industry, for example. In Sweden alone, there are now at least four two-year long vocational trainings and two upcoming university programs specializing in additive manufacturing.
At Campus Värnamo, in the South of Sweden, known for its large concentration of plastic producing companies, the 3D print vocational training’s Tech Lab has just received its latest addition – a brand new HP Jet Fusion 540, sold and installed by PLM Group’s 3D Printing business area.
PLM Group sat down with Niclas Stensson, Development Manager, and Oscar Axelsson, manager of the Campus Värnamo Tech Lab, to discuss the importance of providing the students with a broad portfolio of 3D printing technologies and the growing need for 3D print competence in manufacturing companies.
”With our 3DP vocational training, we operate in a region characterized by both plastic production and developers of equipment”, says Niclas Stensson. “We also have local companies that we work with in setting up the training. It’s a broad range, from Thule, that manufactures solutions for outdoors and family safety, service bureaus, such as Prototal, as well as the 3D printer developer BLB Industries.
Understanding design for 3D printing
One of the main bottlenecks in the adoption of 3D printing is still to this day in construction. Design for 3D printing differs greatly from design for traditional manufacturing and the lack of inhouse skills prohibits many companies from really benefiting from 3D printing.
“We’ve been fortunate here at Campus Värnamo, as the main teacher has a background in design”, says Niclas Stensson. “For the past ten years, he has also been a lecturer at the university program for 3D printing at the University of Jönköping”.
Apart from construction skills, companies need to become aware of what 3D printing is and what you are able to produce.
“There’s a large amount of small enterprises in the region, and many are very innovative”, says Oscar Axelsson. “Today, the majority of our students gets picked up by larger companies, something we hope will change with time. This will help boost the innovative power of smaller manufacturing companies.”
New HP printer helps prepare students
Oscar Axelsson has worked hard with providing the students at Campus Värnamo with a wide array of technologies and 3D printers. The latest addition is an HP Jet Fusion 540, which has already proven to be a real boon in terms of fast turn-around times and productivity.
”The need for a professional solution that our students can work with is a requisite to get a proper training to become a 3D printer technician”, says Oscar Axelsson. “After consulting with the management group for our vocational training, we concluded that the 540 model was a great choice. It’s a fast and modern solution that can produce lasting parts, uses modern materials and has a modest need for maintenance.”
”With the HP MJF 540, our students get real-world training on a 3D printer technology that is becoming increasingly common in the additive world, making them better prepared for their future careers.”