3D InDesigner is a continuation project enhancing the implementation of the results achieved in 3D Boosti and 3D Invest –projects that will both end in June 2017. In the previous projects, demos and prototypes were produced for companies using different 3D printing techniques. However, training in designing the 3D-printable products as well as user training in 3D printing equipment were not put into action in the projects. During the implementation of the projects, it was clearly noticed that there is a huge need for achieving competences in these areas. The sooner the companies acquire the knowledge and skills the better they can utilize the 3D printing techniques in their product development and manufacturing as well as in new business opportunities.
The main objective of the 3D InDesigner project is to form an ecosystem that helps the companies in 3D design
related issues enlarging companies’ competences and skills and creating new innovations and competitiveness. The 3D design ecosystem will comprise remarkable domestic operators in addition to project partners, i.e. Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Tampere University of Technology (TUT), and SASKY Municipal Education and Training Consortium. Moreover, international design expertise will be acquired and offered to benefit the ecosystem. Collaboration with domestic and international component manufacturers is of special interest since it will help to gain knowledge of new opportunities of 3D printing.
The need for persons with 3D designer skills is increasing rapidly. The lack of the professionals in the filed would cause labour market disruption, which could cause e.g. unmanageable displacement of jobs due to the changing demand for skillsets. The purpose of the project is to train, in the short run, adequate number of designers that will fulfill the new demands of the labor market.
3D Invest and 3D Boost
The three beneficiaries of the project, Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and Sastamala Municipal Education and Training Consortium (SASKY), search for a technological leap in exploiting digital knowledge by dint of additive manufacturing. The aim is that all phases of manufacturing, from design into a ready-made item, can be concretized in R&D, learning and innovation environments developed during the project.
The objective of the project is to form a remarkable hub of expertise in Tampere Region. The project will form a network which actors cover all sections of the 3D printing technology, i.e. basic research, development, integration, testing, application and training. The efficiently functioning network will enable the emergence of new innovations – not only in technological sense but also as new targets of applications.
One aim of the project is to organise the R&D, training and innovation activities of the field in Tampere region into effective cooperation in a way that enables the broader introduction of the 3D printing techniques in industry. Another aim is to create the highest know-how on the field, transfer the knowledge, expertise and the best practices to the enterprises and boost the commercial utilization of the expertise.
The knowledge and expertise gained during the project, as well as the cooperation with the enterprises, will ensure that after the project the beneficiaries have the capacity to carry out education and training related to 3D printing. The objective of the project is to boost the manufacturing knowledge in Finnish SMEs, and in particularly in SMEs located in Tampere region, as well as to enhance the competitiveness of the enterprises and products and to increase the added value.
The project will organize seminars to the enterprises and offer them professional support to draw up own 3D development plans. While realizing their plans, companies can also exploit the 3D learning environments which the beneficiaries will build up in another funding.
The close cooperation of TUT, TAMK, SASKY and Tredea, the Tampere Region Economic Development Agency, guarantees that the projects “3D Boost” and “3D Invest” will serve widely the whole Tampere Region.
The main activities of the project are:
1. To form a network of relevant actors and define the hardware to be purchased (promoters involved: SASKY, TUT and TAMK)
2. To gather and disseminate the information (TAMK, SASKY and TUT)
3. To launch the R&D activities and publish the results (TUT and TAMK)
4. To cooperate with the enterprises (SASKY, TUT and TAMK)
5. To observe the sustainability (TAMK, SASKY and TUT)
6. To take part to the international network (TUT and TAMK)
7. To further develop the learning environments (TAMK, TUT and SASKY)
8. To evaluate the activities (SASKY, TUT and TAMK)
The services developed by the project can be divided into three: research and development of processes and
applications and guidance of the users of the operational environment. In this context guidance means sharing the knowledge and expertise of the administrators of the 3D printers concerning the use, maintenance and programming of the hardware, as well as the knowledge of materials. The gained expertise ensures that the project can reach the promised results. The searching, developing and testing of the applications form a great part of the project.
The enterprises which need the above mentioned services are mainly SMEs as they have limited resources to test new techniques of their own. The companies which take part to the project can get acquainted with the new technologies concretely. The companies’ familiarization with the technology creates new innovations and the new innovations create jobs. The training of the users of the operational environments is important in order to implement the gained expertise. The more 3D techniques the beneficiaries know the better and more versatile they can guidance the companies in their hardware purchases.
The above mentioned results can be reached only if a project “3D Invest” receives also funding. All the hardware purchases will be financed by “3D Invest”.