European Union Additive-Manufacturing Concludes with Free Online CourseNovember 6, 2018
The EU Machine Tool Alliance for Skills (METALS) project, a three-country partnership (Germany, Italy and Spain) that sought to engage stakeholders, representing industry and vocational institutes and research bodies and local training regulators, in AM workforce development, ended last week with a bang. To mark the end of the EU-funded project, METALS released a free online course about the fundamentals of additive manufacturing consisting of 27 learning units which fall into three main categories: knowledge on AM, work-process and entrepreneurship. Notably, the online program addresses both technical and soft skills required for working with industrial 3D printing.
CECIMO, the European association representing the Machine Tool and Additive Manufacturing industry, played a key role in establishing and coordinating the METALS project, which included surveys, workshops and interviews with a range of machine tool experts in Europe. A key finding of this research was that AM is indeed an innovative and critical technology in the machine tool sector and training for it is required to push forward industrialization.
The project and CECIMO presented a position paper to Vocational Education and Training (VET) regulatory bodies across Europe calling for the creation of “robust training programs” for AM workers. The paper also suggested that certain national accreditation agencies prioritize AM skills. Finally, the paper called for increase of funding to VET institutes for technical AM equipment.