3D printing technician apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
a university coursea college coursean apprenticeshipworking towards this role
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in a relevant subject like 3D design
product design, engineering or materials science.
You'll usually need 1 or 2 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma. You'll also need 2 to 3 A-Levels, or equivalent, for a degree.
You could take a course in creative design, model making or engineering. This could help you to find a job with a manufacturing or 3D printing company. Courses include:
- Level 2 Certificate in Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing
- Level 3 Certificate in 3D Design
- Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Technology
- T level in Digital Production, Design and Development
You may need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and computing. You might also need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level.
You could do a Level 3 (advanced) apprenticeship in digital engineering.
You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or the equivalent, including English and maths, for a Level 3 (advanced) apprenticeship.
You may be able to start as an assistant in a 3D print workshop and take training on the job to become a technician. Skills and qualifications in model making, printing, technology or design will be useful.
3D printing technician apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- knowledge of engineering, science and technology
- the ability to operate and control equipment
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of maths
- the ability to analyse quality or performance
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
3D printing technician apprenticeships - what you'll do
In your day-to-day duties you may:
- take customer orders and give job quotes
- advise customers on which materials to use
- create digital models and prototypes based on customer requirements
- operate 3D scanning and printing machinery
- apply finishes to products
- check quality
service and repair equipment
You could work at a manufacturing plant, in a factory or at a research facility.
Your working environment may be noisy.
You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
Career path and progression - 3D printing technician apprenticeships
You could move into research, investigating new materials for use in 3D printing and how to make them commercially workable. You could also train to work in 3D printing software and hardware development.
You might work for a company that specialises in printing particular items, for example custom-made prosthetics, construction prototypes, or models of archaeological remains and historical buildings.
There are also opportunities in print equipment sales and training.