Updating Today’s Workforce: 3D Platform & NIU’s EIGERlab Collaborate on 3D Printing Educational Materials

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UntitledStudents on the precipice of graduating can now look forward to a host of new resources as 3D Platform and Northern Illinois University’s EIGERlab Center for Product Development come together in a partnership developing a range of 3D printing educational modules and curricula.

As 3D Platform, based in Roscoe, Illinois, has been working continually to provide users with tools far above and beyond just the basic essentials of what’s needed, we’ve been following their progress as they’ve continued to expand and evolve, promoting unlimited creativity, self-sustainability in design and manufacturing, affordability, quality, and speed. As their direction turns to the student force, 3D Platform’s collaboration with NIU’s EIGERlab should pack a power punch of enrichment for those getting ready to enter the career force.

EIGERlabNIU’s EIGERlab is an innovation network, incubator, and business accelerator facility designed to help individuals and businesses develop new skills, mentor, and link qualified resources to the global marketplace. The two organizations will be developing modules and materials together, both putting their extensive experience in 3D printing to valuable use.

“Additive manufacturing is that hot new thing that many people hear about but don’t understand how to apply it. So, along with NIU EIGERlab we are building modules for training and bringing the workforce up to speed with this technology,” said Mark Huebner, 3D Platform Development Manager.

This fills a much-needed void for students on two different levels:

One, it has been the case previously that many learning institutions were able to gain access to or were granted 3D printers, but had little to no training as to how to use the machines, instruct students about them, much less, maintain them. While we’ve heard from teachers on different occasions that with no curriculum the learning process often turns into an incredible bonding experience for the teacher and class as they innovate and problem-solve together, most would agree that a streamlined educational experience is more comfortable–and expedient–for all.

Two, it’s no secret that there are many manufacturing jobs available in the industry sitting empty as graduates simply don’t have the skills in additive manufacturing to fill them. If the curricula aren’t there, students have a very hard time entering the job force with the required knowledge.f1-1024x730As we’ve reported on previously, the 3DP1000 by 3D Platform is an enormous fused filament 3D printer. With a build volume of 1m x 1m x 0.5m (39″ x 39″ x 19″), it can print full scale prototypes of large parts, or useful real world items.

“Its unique capability to combine printing large objects to scale, inserting metal or other objects to be encased in a print, and ability to handle core modeling allowing multiple print parameters within a single object, make it an ideal printer for developing both basic and advanced proficiencies,” states the most recent press release by 3D Platform.

The industrial strength large format 3D printer starts at $20,000 for the base model, and according to 3D Platform, should significantly lower the cost barrier for those just entering the business of large format 3D printing.  This is a printer that has been ‘designed by engineers and built for engineers.’ Offering a wide range of versatility, 3D Platform designed it for rapid prototyping, product development, automotive design, architecture, stage sets, artistic development, and far more.

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