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eLearning by UL: Foundations of 3D Printing

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Underwriters Laboratories (UL) recently introduced a new online 3D printing course, “Foundations of 3D Printing”. Geared to provide lighting professionals, engineers and designers, the cours is aimed to provide a basic knowledge of the fast-emerging additive manufacturing industry.

The reality is 3D printing is growing at an incredible pace, in and beyond lighting. What was once the domain of select engineers and designers utilizing the technology for “solid free-form fabrication” and “rapid prototyping”, 3D printing is now impacting residential, commercial and industrial lighting markets.

Foundations of 3D Printing: Modular eLearning

“Foundations of 3D Printing” is an interactive four-module course made available through eLearning modules created by UL Digital Manufacturing Technologies (DMT). The course is designed for and intended to serve individuals using and relying on UL services.

Geared to those new to or with an interest in this innovative technology, Foundations of 3D Printing is an interactive four-module course that presents comprehensive introductory knowledge of the 3D printing industry. Covering terms and definitions, software and hardware as well as discussing applications and case studies, you will begin to understand the benefits of 3D printing in a way that is relevant to your lighting needs.

In today’s diverse and fast-moving industry, UL is uniquely positioned to provide a trusted, objective, independent point of view and expertise. This is the first step within their larger goal of helping to advance the lighting industry with 3D printing related matters.

The Economist boosting 3DP Interest

Though additive manufacturing technology began in the 1980s, an article in The Economist five years ago really sparked interest in the technology. After that, UL started hearing about a lot of interest from manufacturers about integrating this technology into their production. Not a lot of people know how to use the technology, that’s why UL’s Knowledge Services were tasked to develop and offer a training service for the technology to bring manufacturers “up to speed”.

eLearning course powered by UL covering the Foundations of 3D Printing
eLearning course powered by UL covering the Foundations of 3D Printing

Foundations of 3D Printing: introductory knowledge

“Foundations of 3D Printing” presents comprehensive introductory knowledge of the 3D printing industry. Covering terms and definitions, software and hardware as well as discussing applications and case studies, participants will be taught the benefits of 3D printing in a way relevant to their business needs. In addition, Foundations of 3D Printing introduces concepts related to print process challenges and considerations, benefits and limitations of the applications of various technologies, quality and safety considerations.

Module 1: Introduction to 3D Printing

Module 1, “Introduction to 3D Printing” provides a background of 3D printing, related terminology, a review of the various unique 3D printing processes and basic applications.

Module 2: 3D Printing Hard – & Software

Module 2, “3D Printing Hardware & Software” explores the various software and hardware required for 3D printing. The module introduces computer-aided design (CAD), scanning and repair software as well as tiers of 3D printers, features and selection criteria considerations.

Module 3: The 3D Printing Process

Module 3, “The 3D Printing Process” presents the four phases of the 3D printing process (digital file creation, preparation for printing, printing, post processing) in detail via a simulated case study. This module also begins to discuss quality and safety considerations specific to 3D printing.

Module 4: Applications of 3D printing

Module 4, “Applications of 3D printing” discusses applications of the technology within the aerospace, automotive, healthcare and consumer industries. In addition, the module introduces the 3D printing supply chain, end user categorization, and final considerations for implementing a 3D printing strategy.

UL is offering the four-module “Foundations of 3D Printing” course for $249. The online course takes about 2½ hours, 30 to 40 minutes per module, to complete.