Advanced Lightweight AM Curriculum at Cincinnati State
Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow and America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, have announced an initiative with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (CSTCC) to develop an open-source curriculum to provide both incumbent workers and new students with knowledge and hands-on training in advanced lightweight additive manufacturing.
As the use of lightweight additive manufacturing continues to grow across the country, the skills gap in the workforce is growing at the same time, because the technology advancement has outpaced available curriculum and workforce education or those teaching tools have been available only to graduate-level students.
"Additive manufacturing is growing at an exponential rate across the manufacturing industry, so fast that the education and training tools cannot keep pace," said Elliot Ruther, chief development officer, CSTCC. "By developing this curriculum, we'll put some of the most advanced lightweight additive manufacturing technology into the hands of more students."
This new technology, particularly with lightweighting applications, requires the use of highly complex geometry and algorithms which provide the high strength-to-weight ratios required by industry, while using the production flexibility provided by additive manufacturing.
As part of this initiative, CSTCC and its new Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will develop curriculum in two tracks:
- Utilizing additive manufacturing equipment and techniques to produce precision objects across a wider field
- Leveraging the evolving array of digital tools to allow students to become additive manufacturing designers, molders and simulators – each of which previously required graduate-level engineering education.
The strong alignment between LIFT and America Makes in lightweighting and additive manufacturing provides the technical expertise of many industry members and academic partners of the two institutes to this initiative.
Both institutes are working to accelerate technology adoption and increase domestic manufacturing competitiveness, with America Makes focusing on additive manufacturing and LIFT working with lightweight metals.
"The use of additive manufacturing is exploding across industries due to its flexibility and availability of equipment," said Leanne Gluck, Deputy Director, Workforce and Educational Outreach, America Makes. "To ensure additive can be used to its utmost potential and by a skilled workforce, we must invest in education and curriculum to support it."
"Driving the connection between education and the advanced technology used by industry is key to ensuring the U.S. workforce has the right skills and abilities to close the skills gap and maintain our leadership in manufacturing," said Emily DeRocco, education and workforce development director, LIFT. "As Manufacturing USA institutes, we must collaborate to solve these problems, and we are proud to be working with America Makes to do just that."
Other partners in the initiative include Southwest Ohio Aerospace Region (SOAR) and AeroHUB. The CSTCC Technical Advisory Committee includes: University of Cincinnati Research Institute, Procter & Gamble, Able Tool, Belcan, General Nano, Dayton Area Defense Contractors, EWI, Imaginistics, KineticVision, Mazak Corp., Rhinestahl Corp., Red Tiger Investments, Tangible Solutions, and Wright State University.