Raytheon is hiring 4,500 engineers this year but can’t find enough qualified candidates. “That’s a frightening problem for a company like ours,” CEO William Swanson said in remarks prepared for a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce this week.
Thirty percent of the four million Americans in ninth grade in 2001 dropped out of high school, Swanson said. And fewer than 280,000 majored in a technical field in college, and only 167,000 will earn a scientific or technical degree by 2011. And a mere 64,000 will become engineers. “Compared to China, India, and other parts of the world,” he said, “it’s a drop in the bucket.”
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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