As mass-produced 3D printed products become more common, there will continue to be an increasing demand for 3D modelers. If there is a single skill that could make it easier to enter the 3D printing industry, then it's likely the ability to create custom 3D models from scratch. Skills such as leveling the bed, addressing issues related to 3D printing, such as warping, stringing, and others, are essential when working with 3D printers. In the long term, I expect automation to allow 3D printing to be done at a “hyperlocal” level, where parts are always produced close to the end user.
3D printing will be intelligent, everything will be part of IoT, smartphones will offer a 3D scanning process that will allow the “scan to 3D print” function. The good news is that you may have some of the traits that are needed to become an expert in 3D printing. FDM printers can now be equipped with secondary extruders that can add simple circuits and circuit elements to a polymer part. Therefore, designers need the right tools and training to understand the possibilities of 3D printing.
This will be supported by the strong integration of 3D organic design tools, advanced simulation tools and manufacturing capabilities into individual platforms, which will mostly be powered by the cloud. If not, there are plenty of free 3D modeling apps and online communities that help users start 3D printing on their own. There are many companies that have already opened spaces for those with expert knowledge of 3D printers. The golf club design project, optimized with Dunwoody 3D printers, pushes students to research, innovate and refine concepts within the strict parameters of the United States Golf Association.
And, if you're interested in following the league and establishing a career in 3D printing, you shouldn't shy away from acquiring the necessary skills. The phrase “circular economy” appears with increasing regularity during my trips to 3D printing conferences and exhibitions around the world.