Additive Manufacturing

extreme close-ups of a piece created using 3D printing

Additive Manufacturing seems like the new hot buzzword but it’s really been around for two, maybe even three, decades. It’s just recently that awareness of its value as an important process with major manufacturers as come to public attention.

extreme close-ups of a piece created using 3D printingScott Community College’s Blong Technology Center has trained students in Additive Manufacturing for a large part of the time the technology has been in existence. It is a component of several programs but especially the Mechanical Design and Engineering Technology programs.

Additive Manufacturing can be a foreign term to most people but at its core it means adding to something in the production process, rather than taking away.

Cutting away on a piece of metal to create a finished product is an example of taking away. Using 3D printers to create a piece is additive. The 3D printer molds the piece without the waste involved in cutting away on metal.

This is especially important in the design process when a manufacturer is developing a new product. There can be a considerable amount of trial and error in that process. 3D printing the item takes less time than cutting it out of metal and saves a significant amount of money. A manufacturer can design and redesign the piece several times to make sure it does exactly what it is intended to do before beginning mass production.

Additive Manufacturing is a rapidly changing field. To ensure that students are receiving the training they need to find jobs in the field, the college’s instructors continue to update their own skills and knowledge.

Brad McConnellWith that in mind, lead instructor in the program, Brad McConnell, recently completed a 12-week program with MIT (yes, that MIT), in Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production.

Led by leading MIT faculty and industry experts, the course focused on developing a cutting-edge perspective on digital transformation and the factory of the future. It also included a case study solving a real-world design strategy.

The Blong Technology Center is located north of Davenport, just off Interstate 80, at 8500 Hillandale Rd. For more information about its programs and how to get started just give us a call at 1-888-336-3907 or email

Author: alaneastern

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