Job Spotlight: Emerging Roles in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing 

Job Spotlight: Emerging Roles in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing 

Since the year 2014, there has been a steady rise in the usage of additive manufacturing and 3D printing. Due to the benefits it brings, companies are constantly putting in an effort to incorporate them into their process.

With the constant evolution of new materials as well as the high demand for experts in various methods of additive manufacturing and 3d printing, there are many emerging roles and career opportunities you can take advantage of.


Introducing the Innovative Approach of Additive Manufacturing 

Also known as 3D printing, this new method of manufacturing is an innovative and revolutionary process of creating and optimizing complex objects with the help of advanced technologies and programs.

Instead of using the traditional manufacturing methods of creating blocks of molds just to form the desired objects, additive manufacturing adds layer upon layer to create the actual products without the need of wasting excess materials.

All over the globe, this form of manufacturing is being utilized in different fields thanks to the benefits it brings to companies such as:

  • Cost-efficient: Since there is no need to waste materials on molds, companies are able to save on costs when manufacturing customized products or low-volume parts.
  • Allows personalization: Manufacturing companies can offer personalized products without sacrificing efficiency or productivity. With the help of 3D printing, the individual needs of customers and clients can be met.
  • Product optimization: When manufacturing different parts of a product, manufacturers can make sturdy, lightweight, specific components that can improve the durability and overall performance of the end item


7 Career Opportunities 

With many more benefits like reduced material waste and a streamlined supply chain, companies are actively investing in additive manufacturing. Because of this, many job opportunities related to 3D printing are opening that you can use as an entry to join the field of manufacturing.

Below are seven examples of emerging roles related to additive manufacturing that you may be interested in.


1. Computed Aided Design (CAD) Modeling

In this job, you are tasked to create detailed 3D models using digital programs and computer-aided designing software. Aside from translating proposed concepts and ideas into accurate printed parts, you will also be responsible for collaborating with engineers in order to optimize the design for the sake of functionality and efficiency.


2. 3D Printing Design Engineer

For this position, you are expected to closely work with clients to understand what they need. Based on the requirements set, you will have the responsibility of creating innovative designs for the products that will be manufactured using 3D printing technology.¹ Other than the design, you will also need to consider other factors like its feasibility and quality.


3. Additive Manufacturing Technician

Additive manufacturing technologies are monitored by technicians to maintain the quality of 3D products. You have the job of setting up printers, calibrating machines, and monitoring equipment to make sure they are working correctly all throughout the creation process. If you are in this position, you will also handle the maintenance and troubleshooting of printers to ensure optimal performance and quality outputs


4. Software Developer

Software developer jobs are projected to increase from the year 2021 to 2031.² They focus on developing the software applications and tools used in various steps of additive manufacturing. This includes the programs for designing the 3D models as well as the printing software to be used. With the role of developer, you are also expected to work closely with engineers to remain updated on the requirements for the software. Whether there is a need for coding or for debugging, it will be up to you to keep the additive manufacturing processes smooth by maintaining the software used.


5. Mechanical Engineer

If a software developer focuses on software, a mechanical engineer focus on the hardware components used in product development. In this role, you’ll have the responsibility of developing physical mechanisms of printing technologies. You’ll also be reliable in improving the systems and subsystems of equipment to ensure quality printing.


Various Fields of Work for Additive Manufacturing

One of the main reasons why there is a high demand for experts in 3D printing is that it can be used in a variety of ways. For example, it can be applied in the following fields of work:

  • Architecture & Construction: Manufacturing technology can be used to create detailed architectural designs. It can also be used for rapid prototyping of buildings and small-scale models for the sake of accurately visualizing design and structures.
  • Medicine and Pharmacy: 3D printing has revolutionized and improved the medical field through the production of customized medical implants and prosthetics. It can also be used in personalizing the size, shape, and dosage of medications based on the needs of patients.
  • Legal Profession: For professions related to law, additive manufacturing is being used in recreating physical prototypes to exhibit issues such as patent violations and design infringement. Products created are often used in courts and settlements as evidence or visuals for legal arguments.


Job Requirements to Consider 

Although there is a wide range of available positions in the field of additive manufacturing, the following are general skills that you may need if you’re looking for work related to this specialty.


Technical Skills

Proficiency in technical skills is essential for success in the field of manufacturing. These skills allow professionals to effectively utilize the tools, software, and equipment necessary for the production process. Here are some key technical skills required in the manufacturing industry:


1. Proficiency in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software

You need to have the skills needed to manipulate the software used in designing models to create designs according to the requirement given by clients. You also need to know how to accurately translate the ideas of your customers into optimized, printable 3D designs with the correct dimensions and parameters.


2. Knowledge of Additive Materials and Processes

If you want to be an employee in the field of additive manufacturing, you need to have expertise in the basic knowledge of materials and processes used to create the products. For example, having an understanding of the properties and limitations of materials like metals, polymers, and ceramics can help you in making vital design and manufacturing decisions to efficiently produce the necessary output.


3. Skills in Operating and Troubleshooting 3D Printers

To have a job related to 3D printing, you need to have the skills needed in operating printers and other necessary tools and equipment. You are required to be an expert all throughout the process starting from setting up the printer and calibrating the machines until the final product is created. In the event that equipment goes awry, you need to also know how to troubleshoot, fix problems, and maintain the tools you use.


Soft Skills

Soft skills play a crucial role alongside technical expertise. These skills enable professionals to excel in their roles and contribute to the success of the industry. Here are some essential soft skills individuals should have:


1. Innovative Mindset

Although this soft skill is more important for roles related to the designing process, having an innovative mindset is necessary for anyone in the field of 3D manufacturing. It can help you push through the limits and boundaries present in the production process to create better-quality outputs in a highly efficient manner.


2. Technology Literacy

Manufacturing is a field driven by technology so if you are looking for a position related to it, you need to be knowledgeable about technology. Being technology literate means being able to understand both simple and advanced machines and equipment. Moreover, you need to have the ability to analyze and manipulate the tools needed.


3. Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

As mentioned in the list of technical skills, the majority of roles in the field of manufacturing require you to know how to troubleshoot and understand the problems you encounter. Once you understand the issues, you can use critical thinking to create efficient solutions and even find ways to prevent complications from arising.


4. Effective Communication and Collaborative Skills

Manufacturing is a field where stakeholders are required to interact and collaborate to create the best output possible. Designers are expected to keep in contact with clients while technicians are required to closely work with those who created the design. No matter which points of the manufacturing process, effective communication is crucial to meet the project or product requirements.


5. Willingness to Train and Develop Skill Sets

For all evolving fields like manufacturing, many new processes, materials, and technologies are discovered constantly. It’s important for you to have the willingness to continuously improve your skills through training and expanding your learning about manufacturing to meet the constant development. It is only through development that you can ensure your skills are relevant to the field.



If you’re looking for new opportunities to enter the advanced field of manufacturing, let DAVIS Companies help you find the right company. With our help, you can be hired directly or contractually based on the setup you seek.

Establish real relationships and take advantage of exceptional opportunities. Contact us today to learn how!



1 Joblist. “What Are Additive Manufacturing Jobs and How to Get Hired.” JobList, 17 Nov. 2020,
2 “Bureau of Labor Statistics.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021,

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