Here’s how you prepare for a future in 3D
Take classes with Federico Sciammarella. The NIU mechanical engineering professor is already on the cutting edge of 3D printing and manufacturing and you will be too.
At the global forefront of 3D metal printing knowledge, here’s what Sciammarella is up to:
- Helped secure a $2.4 million grant from the National Institute for Standards and Testing (NIST) to conduct research on 3D printing. (He hired NIU students to assist in that research, BTW.) As a result, one graduate student now works at NIST with the AM group in Gaithersburg, MD, and another student who did a summer internship is now working for DMG-Mori and developed a Hybrid AM system.
- Advises the national organization America Makes on how 3D printing technology and manufacturing should be taught in the United States.
- Develops research networks and business relationships with companies in South Africa, Mexico and Italy, where 3D printing is used similarly to the U.S.
- Opened up his research space and carved out a maker space for all NIU students who have a passion for the technology.
He brings it all home for NIU’s students.
Daniel Nikolov, now a graduate research assistant, was one of those students. Sciammarella inspired Nikolov and his classmates to pursue their own projects. One project involved fixing part of the scoreboard at Huskie Stadium. After the university requested a way to protect exposed areas on the scoreboard, students designed caps and used a 3D printer to create them. They were successfully installed.
Sciammarella’s students appreciate what they are learning. Shaun Maconaghy, a 2015 graduate in mechanical engineering, took four of his classes, and said it’s not always all about the technical stuff. “He was always excited to show us how engineers can impact the world in ways that go beyond designing systems and components,” Maconaghy said.
That passion stems from Sciammarella belief that teaching students how to harness the potential of 3D printing puts them on them on the cutting edge.
“It’s that next level of manufacturing that will have the truly high-paying careers and opportunities for everyone who participates,” he said.