Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies - Making It In California
Doing What MATTERS for Business & Industry

3D-Printed Prosthetic Hand


The Emergence of 4D Printing

3D Printers


As its name implies, 3D printing involves the printing of three dimensional devices.  This is accomplished by adding one layer on top of another, usually with the source material being plastic or metal. This process is an additive process, which is why 3D printing is sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing.

There are a variety of 3D printing applications spanning numerous industries, including aerospace, medicine, automotive, and electronics. The continued growth of 3D printer applications has more employers looking for those with 3D printer skills.  Training on 3D printers would serve to empower students through the attainment of skill-sets that can meet employer needs. 3D printers can also enable students with an opportunity to pursue entrepreneurial activities. Rapid prototyping at a substantially-reduced cost makes 3D printers an invaluable tool for both entrepreneurs and the manufacturing sector.

3D printers have already been integrated into several courses at various community colleges, including: Art, Architecture, Computer-Aided Design & Drafting, Engineering Technology, Manufacturing, Pre-Dental and more. If you would like help in determining how to integrate a 3D printer into one of your courses, or have any other questions, please contact your regional CACT Director.

For an FAQ on 3D printers, click here.

For estimating annual 3D printer costs, click here.