AM TE@CH: the Additive Manufacturing Academy at the Starting Blocks

A consortium of 8 partners, guided by the Italian Innovation District Kilometro Rosso, is ready to give birth to the Additive Manufacturing Academy. That is the aim of AM TE@CH, a two-year project co-funded by Erasmus + Programme of the European Union, that wants to boost competences in additive manufacturing for SMEs on a European Level. (read here the project card)

Learning pills, webinars, demonstration videos and high-quality contents on additive manufacturing: that is part of the training path built within the project and uploaded on a free e-learning platform.

The consortium, composed by various institutions, universities and research centres from Italy, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden has now been working on the study of “the personas” to be targeted by the project’s training path, analysing training needs and competences gaps.

What is Additive Manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing (AM) or additive layer manufacturing (ALM) is the industrial production name for 3D printing, a computer-controlled process that creates three dimensional objects by depositing materials, usually in layers. Using computer aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners, additive manufacturing allows for the creation of objects with precise geometric shapes. These are built layer by layer, as with a 3D printing process.

Why Additive Manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing technology could be nowadays a good ally for manufacturing thanks to its time and cost saving advantages. AM offers a range of opportunities for both prototyping and production. Nevertheless, nowadays there’s a lack of knowledge on the topic in the manufacturing sector, especially for SMEs. It is the reason why the partners decided to create AM TE@CH project with the aim of boosting competences on additive manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing process is, in fact, in contrast to traditional manufacturing as it allows a part to be built layer-by-layer, whereas traditional manufacturing often requires a part to be made by joining separate components or by machining away unwanted material to produce the part. AM allows for the creation of bespoke parts with complex geometries and little wastage. It is an ideal technology for rapid prototyping. The digital process means that design alterations can be done quickly and efficiently during the manufacturing process. Unlike with more traditional subtractive manufacturing techniques, the lack of material wastage provides cost reduction for high value parts, while AM has also been shown to reduce lead times.

In addition, parts that previously required assembly from multiple pieces can be fabricated as a single object which can provide improved strength and durability. AM can also be used to fabricate unique objects or replacement pieces where the original parts are no longer produced.

AM is important for the creation of lighter, complex designs that may be too difficult or expensive to produce using traditional manufacturing techniques.

Who is the target of AM TE@CH?

The AM TE@CH project addresses to Vocational Education Trainers (VET) trainers, professionals who teaches knowledge related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation to interested employees.

What are the goals of AM TE@CH?

The AM TE@CH project aims at boosting AM competences in the manufacturing sector with the development of high-quality open access contents and a training path delivered to VET trainers by a free e-learning platform.

Which are the activities of AM TE@CH?

The partners will work on the realisation of the training path with high-quality training contents on additive manufacturing after the study of the involved targets’ needs. The training path will be available after the end of the project and it could be a precious resource for SMEs to boost competences in the field of additive manufacturing.

Follow the project’s updates with the hashtag #amteach

(The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union: Grant Agreement 2021-1-IT01-KA220-VET-000033365).

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