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Additive Manufacturing

Warren T. Jones, Ph.D., P.E.

Course Outline

This course introduces the emerging technology of additive manufacturing, sometimes called 3D printing. The course discusses the state of the industry, technical challenges, emerging R&D and government involvement to further stimulate the development of the field. The role of standards in additive manufacturing is presented as well as the educational needs at both the high school and college levels.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course content.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the course, the student will learn about the:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for all engineers, architects and land surveyors.

Benefit to Attendee

Attendee of this course will understand the nature of additive manufacturing and its potential for future engineering opportunities.

Course Introduction

Additive manufacturing (AM), also referred to as 3D printing, is a layer-by-layer technique of producing three-dimensional (3D) objects directly from a digital model. Unlike conventional subtractive processes that cut away material from a larger workpiece, additive manufacturing builds a finished piece in successive layers, each one adhering to the previous. A brief description of the AM industry is presented along with emerging R&D topics, the government’s role in advancing the field, future standards and education needs.

Course Content

The content of this course is the following Science and Technology Policy Institute report: Justin Scott, Nayanee Gupta, Christopher Weber, Sherrica Newsome, Terry Wohlers and Tim Caffrey, “Additive Manufacturing: Status and Opportunities”, March 2012.  

This report can be downloaded as a PDF file by clicking:

Additive Manufacturing: Status and Opportunities

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right-clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader from your computer.

Course Summary

This course has provided a description of the additive manufacturing industry, technical challenges, emerging R&D, and government involvement in the advancement of the field. The need for additional standards development and education at both the high school and college levels has also been presented along with information for further study.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following website:

Major Conference

Additive Manufacturing – International conference

Websites for Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing Users Group – AMUG is an independent, industry-wide users group that gives its members a forum for learning, information exchange and establishing professional connections. Members have access to a wealth of knowledge and experience. AMUG sponsors an annual conference.

Fortus 3D Production Systems – vendor offering digital manufacturing solutions that build thermoplastic parts in 3D.

Paramount Product Development Specialists -  vendor in additive manufacturing that produces finished parts directly from digital data such as 3D CAD drawings using advanced technologies such as selective laser sintering.

Journal and Magazine

Rapid Prototyping Journal – The international journal for research on additive manufacturing technologies and rapid product development.

TCT Additive Manufacturing and Industrial 3D Printing – additive manufacturing magazine.


Ian Gibson, David W. Rosen and Brent Stucker, Additive Manufacturing Tehnologies: Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing, Springer, New York, 2010.

Patrick Hood-Daniel and James Floyd Kelly, Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer, 2011.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.