US college and 3D-printing firm offer online course

Aims Community College in Colorado, US, launched a fully-online education and training course with assistance from local 3D-printing firm Alquist 3D, which the school hopes will offer students a “gateway to job opportunities in the rapidly growing field of 3D-printed homes and infrastructure.”

Kuka 3D printer (Image: Aims Community College) A 3D-printing robot operator on a Kuka unit. (Image: Aims Community College)

Classes will officially start this July, with certification provided to the students that pass the four-module, 30-hour coursework.

According to Aims, the course delivers essential knowledge about 3D printing technology and carbon-neutral material processes vital to the segment. The curriculum includes an overview of history and process, robotics, material science, and design.

In addition to offering the 3D-printing-specific course, Aims said it will integrate 3D-printing equipment and operations into its existing Construction Management programme, and the Aims Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Industrial Technology programmes.

Alquist 3D founder and chairman Zachary Mannheimer said, “Developing this curriculum in collaboration with Aims Community College has been an exciting step toward achieving our shared vision of robust job training and workforce development for 3D printing construction.”

Cooperative construction classes to reduce labour deficit?

The collaboration between public-funded higher education and a private construction technology company could be at least one answer to the burgeoning skills shortage issue.

At $250 to enrol, the course is significantly less than similar curriculum for more conventional trade practices.

Marilyn Schock, chair of the Aims Board of Trustees, said, “Building a skilled workforce in this innovative industry will boost the economic success of our community overall.”

Alquist 3D, and other regional 3D-printers, should be able to rely on this and other programmes to help feed new talent in a novel construction sector. The company recently relocated to Greely, Colorado, receiving $4 million in tax incentives from the municipality.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said of Alquist 3D’s move, “There’s a lot of great reasons to bring a company to Colorado, but the number one is the partnership with Aims Community College on workforce.”

It is reported that the tax credits and cooperation between company and city are to create 79 new jobs in the region in the next eight years, lower construction material costs by 10% to 15% in the inaugural year and up to 30% in the following years and help construct 40 to 50 new homes in Greely.

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