How to Get Into the 3D Printing Industry in 2021

Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

How to Get Into the 3D Printing Industry in 2021

  • 29 Nov 2021
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    The 3D printing industry is booming right now thanks to its ability to print 3D products using Computer-aided design (CAD) technolog

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  • The 3D printing industry was valued at $13.78 billion in 2020

    One of the reasons for its popularity is that many products can be produced speedily and cost-effectively. The potential for the 3D printing industry to improve or replace many manufacturing procedures is unlimited, so there is a lot of interest coming from major manufacturers to see how they can incorporate 3D Printing into their processes.

    Designers use computer-aided design (CAD) to create digital instructions for a 3D printer to create an object. A 3D printer will read the design and then use plastic, metal, or ceramic materials to create the 3D model. 

    The beauty of 3D Printing is that it can be used for all sizes of objects, from large-scale projects to small, intricate, customised products, components or parts. It is also valuable for R&D to create prototype products at a low cost. 

    A growing industry

    What does all this mean for job seekers looking to get into the 3D printing industry? It means a promise of a variety of jobs at the cutting edge of modern technology.

    There are now new educational and professional training courses being created that offer 3D Printing, design, and modelling programmes. These are worth taking to advance your knowledge of the technologies used in the industry and to add value to your CV or if you aim to work for one of the world leaders in 3D Printing.

    Getting into this industry can potentially offer job seekers a lot of future job security. Let’s take a look at some exciting roles that candidates could pursue.

    3D designers

    As more 3D printing firms start to pop up all over the country, they will require someone to take a product idea and turn it into reality through CAD and 3D Printing. Being a 3D designer could involve working directly for the printing company at their base, or it could involve being part of a creative team that works remotely or as a freelancer. 

    There is a vast scope for a trained 3D designer to work in many different industries, so it can help to look for opportunities in a business sector that interests you. For example, you may be interested in new commercial product design, architectural design and planning, medical aid development and more. 

    It can help to have gained some hands-on experience in 3D technologies and to know your way around a 3D printer. It is also essential to keep your knowledge up to date on how manufacturers and leading companies are using 3D Printing in their industry.


    There will be thousands of jobs created in the 3D printing industry, but what good are these roles if there are no qualified candidates to fill them?

    If you have a passion for teaching, then going into education to teach students all the technical aspects of 3D Printing will help fill the skills gap that many schools are developing. 

    Many universities and colleges are launching 3D printing courses and training programmes and looking for teachers to lead them. If you have experience in 3D Printing and computer-aided technology and have an aptitude for teaching, you may have the specific skill set needed to teach these courses. It will also help you to keep up to date on current technology and 3D printing trends.

    3D CAD modelling

    3D printing companies will not only need 3D designers, but they will also need 3D CAD modellers too. You will need the skills to convert product designs into digital blueprints that the 3D printers need to create a product for this role.

    Both mass manufacturing and custom prototyping need the ability of 3D CAD modellers to conceptualise the product and create a precise representation. This role would require people with 3D printing-specific modelling skills and a deep understanding of materials used and how they would affect the printed product.

    Architectural and construction design modelling

    3D printing technology will cause significant disruption in the architecture, construction and engineering industries. These are industries that have traditionally relied heavily on 2D blueprinting and prototyping.

    Many civil and architectural engineers are already using CAD technology. Still, the addition of 3D Printing can help them to produce more true-to-life scale models, which can be helpful when planning large or complex projects, such as new housing developments.

    It is likely that as 3D printing technologies move on and become more cost-effective, they will replace or eliminate the need for construction blueprints to be drawn up. Instead, plans will go directly to 3D Printing of scaled models to use as guides for construction projects. 


    There will be many new businesses springing up that will be based on providing 3D printing services for companies, so there will be a need for 3D printing designers and modellers with a lot of flexibility and a keenness to take on new and exciting projects.

    No matter what industry you are interested in, there are sure to be increasing opportunities to work in 3D Printing within that sector. It can help to keep on top of the latest 3D printing technologies and take up available training where available.