Benefits of additive manufacturing for RTOs

Additive Manufacturing is one of the Key Enabling Technologies that made it possible to create physical objects from digital models without hesitations about the complexity of the design that may prevent its realization via the – limited – traditional manufacturing technologies. We can identify the advantages that a technology can bring to a sector by looking at that sector as a system that has inputs, processes, and outputs.

Inputs for RTOs are generally mind-power that can be identified as students, technicians, researchers, and scientists. Processes at RTOs - in broader terms - are education, training, research and development. Outputs from RTOs are workers, engineers, intellectual property rights and technologies. Additive Manufacturing adds a great value to all components of this system; individually and/or collectively.

Additive Manufacturing can increase the inputs of RTOs; quantitatively and the qualitatively. Due to the limited numbers of international institutes that offer educational and training programs for Additive Manufacturing, it is expected that more students, researchers and scientists will be attracted to RTOs that adopt Additive Manufacturing in their strategy and create 3D printing dedicated programs and divisions.

Taking Sweden as an example, the Strategic Research Agenda for the Swedish Additive Metal Manufacturing Industry predicts the need for - at least - 1000 employees with AM competence until 2023. This number is projected to become 5 folds during the following ten years, and the agenda urges schools, universities and RTOs to dedicate extra education and training programs to fulfil these requirements. The required programs may range from short courses to Master programs and Ph.D. projects. 1

For students and educators, Additive Manufacturing offer more tangible educational aids that help in understanding some of the concepts that are difficultly accessible. For examples, medical students benefit from accurate 3D printed organs with detailed internal parts that help students grasp the physiology of some challenging internal systems. This technology provides also an easy and fast solution that enables students to visualize their ideas. Similarly, researchers benefit from 3D printing in many aspects, but it is clear this technology allow researchers to rapidly prototype their designs in tangible objects that can be optimized for the R&D purposes.

At the system level, RTOs can increase their resources that include public funds, research grants, and Intellectual Property Rights. Public funds can be increased due to the pressure from industry requesting new specialized AM programs, and specialists in designing for 3D printing. Also, there are many open research questions that are relevant to 3D printing, which create great opportunities for RTOs to increase their resources from research grants.

The impact on the outputs of the RTOs has multiple levels. With the growing market for Additive Manufacturing technologies, there is a need for graduates with education and hands-on training in that field. That means, good opportunities in the job market with less effort in searching for jobs that will be – most likely – highly paid. Also, with the multiple challenges and the immaturity of the 3D printing, the IP outcomes of RTOs working in relevant fields are expected to grow.

In short, RTOs that adopt 3D printing technologies will have an edge over other organizations. The earlier and the massive integration of the Additive Manufacturing into the RTO’s system and vision, the greater its impact and the more tangible its outcomes.

To read a customized article for SMEs please open: Benefits of additive manufacturing for SMEs

To read a customized article for Policy please open: Benefits of additive manufacturing in Policy

Get in contact with us

Mohamed Eldessouki
Technical University of Liberec
Smart Polymeric materials
Computer Vision
Materials modeling
Project Coordination
Show bibliography for this article
1 Strategic Research Agenda for the Swedish Additive Metal Manufacturing Industry; source AMEXCI, 2018.
Published on the 06.04.2020