Partnering with UL (Underwriters Laboratories), the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has begun offering UL's additive manufacturing (AM) training program to its members. Since February 1, members have been eligible for discounts on UL's training courses and related content. UL is also sponsoring new members who are interested in this training by paying their SPE dues.
The two organizations are also giving away a free online AM training course each week from February 1 through the month of April. SPE members can enter the drawing online by answering questions posted on the society's website on "The Chain" in the SPE Cafe. Once members have signed up for the course, they must register by July 26 of this year, and must complete the course within one year of registration. Members can find out more about the course offering, and the contest, on this page of the SPE website.
The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) has begun offering courses in UL's additive manufacturing training program to its members at a discount. Through the month of April SPE members can enter a drawing to win a free online course. UL's three-tier curriculum covers the foundations of 3D printing, technical and economics training, and advanced topics including high-end materials and application-specific training.
Last summer, we told you about the professional training and certification courses UL was developing, as one of four initiatives the company has been working on to address the concerns and needs of engineers and technical workers in 3D printing and AM. The other three initiatives are safety certification for 3D printing materials emissions, equipment & materials, and insuring the quality & safety of 3DP applications.
At that time, when we talked to vice president of digital technologies Simin Zhou, she told Design News that professional certification and training is one of the biggest challenges in AM, and that previously, really good professional training wasn't available. Engineers and technical staff have had to answer a myriad of questions about design, materials, and production processes with no textbooks or formal procedures, relying mostly on trial-and-error experimentation. UL wants to make sure the workforce is qualified to do what they need to do. To begin filling that need, UL also issued a compliance guideline for outlining how to approach producing medical equipment with AM.
The company's three-tier curriculum includes a first-tier hands-on foundations of 3D printing course. The second-tier technical and economics training for 3D printing and AM is a comprehensive curriculum that addresses AM processes and materials selection quality and safety, as well as the actual economics of 3D printing. The third-tier curriculum is being conducted at UL's Additive Manufacturing Competency Center at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. This flagship center will offer training for metals AM, ceramics, and other high-end materials, as well as application-specific training. Private and custom workshops are also available.
You can find out more about UL's entire training curriculum here.
Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 28 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, and robotics. In the past, she's also written about machine vision and all kinds of communications.