Ireland’s newest Technological University is helping to position the South East region as a centre of excellence for additive manufacturing.

A new one-year degree programme has begun at South East Technological University (SETU) aimed at creating the specialists companies need to adopt the technology.

Additive manufacturing is changing the way things are made. It is commonly known as 3D printing and is the process of creating an object by printing or building it one layer at a time.

The part-time Level 7 Bachelor of Science in Additive Manufacturing is now underway and is fully subscribed for the first year. It’s primarily aimed at upskilling people in the manufacturing industry in the South East across a range of sectors including Aerospace, Med-Tech, Bio-Pharma, Agri-Tech and Precision Engineering.

The Technological University has a suite of Industrial Metal and Polymer 3D printers in Waterford and Carlow worth in excess of €3 million. Learners will have the opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of processing technologies, 3D printing platforms, and materials.

The new degree brings together expertise, assets and equipment from Waterford and Carlow through the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways – SEAM (South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre) and Design+ – and 3DWIT. SEAM developed a specialist division in additive manufacturing and formed a company called 3DWIT. It’s Ireland’s first dedicated centre for 3D printing and training and the course builds upon its offering.

Programme Leader, David Alarco said:

“The area of additive manufacturing represents a fascinating ecosystem with huge opportunities for society, the environment and industry. It is a green technology in the efficient way it uses material. Companies can manufacture locally, saving on transport, packaging and distribution costs. It is also far more innovative; you can make lighter and stronger parts, manufacture designs that were previously impossible and create goods tailored to the individual. This course is a unique opportunity for students to try something in practice, it’s not just theoretical. We will be utilising the labs and equipment in Waterford and Carlow. It’s important that students come out of the course with the exact knowledge and skills to be that proficient workforce.”

Dr. Frances Hardiman, Head of Faculty of Engineering in Carlow said:

“Additive manufacturing is a specialist area that many companies are touching on and are curious about. We respond to the demands of industry and that’s why we developed a programme focused on additive manufacturing.The expertise we have at SETU and our Technology Gateways is second to none and we want to harness this to support regional upskilling and create the specialists that companies need.”

The modules have been developed for the AMASE (Additive Manufacturing Advancing the South East) project. The project is funded under the Human Capital Initiative. The programme is being delivered in a blended mode over two 12-week semesters.

Dr. Ken Thomas, Head of School of Engineering in Waterford added:

“AMASE is focused on research-informed education. You can have the best equipment in the world but you also need the people with the right knowledge and skills. We see the South East region leading the charge in successfully adopting this technology. SETU will continue to develop as a centre of excellence for Additive Manufacturing, helping companies with their innovation opportunities and transition challenges – people, processes, materials and technology.”

The cost of the course is €3,000 – however, the Human Capital Initiative is providing funding of €2,250 for each place. Student fees of €750 apply for the full 60-credit degree.

The AMASE team has also developed an integrated suite of shorter 10-credit awards which will be rolled out in 2023. It includes certificates in introduction to additive manufacturing, design, health and safety and regulatory affairs as well as lab technologies and post processing.

Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra, Centre Director of SEAM and Founder of 3DWIT added:

“The South East Technological University boasts excellent Advanced Manufacturing infrastructure and expertise through SEAM, Design+ and 3DWIT. I have no doubt the formal commencement of the Bachelor of Science in Additive Manufacturing will help to transform the South East into one of Ireland’s leading advanced manufacturing regions.”

Reported by WLRFM (