Minnesota-based digital manufacturing company Protolabs is partnering with additive manufacturing consultants from Wohlers Associates to bring the industry an immersive course focused on design for additive manufacturing (DfAM). The exclusive event is aimed at accelerating DfAM by helping engineers and designers develop practical methods and strategies for exploiting 3D printing to the fullest.
The three-day DfAM course will be held at Protolabs’ expansive 3D printing facility near Raleigh, North Carolina (at 77,000 square feet it is the largest AM facility in North America). The invite-only event will include a discussion led by Wohlers President Terry Wohlers and Olaf Diegel, an associate consultant at the firm. Notably, Diegel is also the head of the Creative Design and Additive Manufacturing Lab at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The course will also bring together a number of Protolabs AM engineers who specialize in both polymer and metal 3D printing technologies.
“Designing for AM offers unique challenges and opportunities not found in traditional design methods,” said Wohlers. “Protolabs brings tremendous depth of expertise and leadership in 3D printing. We’re thrilled to work together to equip attendees with technical skills and manufacturing knowledge needed to unlock the full potential of additive manufacturing.”
Design for Additive Manufacturing—the topic of our AM Focus series next month—is a crucial area of the industry. The new manufacturing opportunities created by additive manufacturing also entail the creation of new design practices, which emphasize internal geometries and material reduction. DfAM, like the introduction of new AM materials, is a key driver in the industrialization of additive manufacturing, as it will enable manufacturers, engineers and designers to realize the full benefits of 3D printing.
“Additive manufacturing has moved well beyond this worn-out notion that it has to prove its worth—we’ve seen firsthand its maturation over the years and have literally 3D printed millions of parts during that time,” said Vicki Holt, President and CEO of Protolabs. “We know it’s an extremely valuable prototyping tool but it has now made significant strides in materials and technology where production is its logical next phase. Collaborating with the world’s leading additive experts—and those who look to leverage that technology to its fullest—will serve to proliferate the education and adoption of 3D printing.”
The course will be held from April 30 to May 2, 2019. Wohlers Associates has been hosting DfAM courses in collaboration with companies and groups for the past couple of years. Last year, for instance, it hosted a DfAM event in Montreal in collaboration with QIRC.