3-D Printing classes coming to SKCTC

Published 9:54 am Tuesday, February 8, 2022

3-D printing has slowly been building up to a big market, and now Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College is offering a 3-D printing class.

Amy Simpson, director of communications and public relations at SKCTC, said the college received a grant from Toyota Tsusho America to create a makerspace called the IDEAS Center (Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship at Southeast).

“What the idea is is to provide for the community a place where they can come in for free, and if they’re an entrepreneur or an inspiring entrepreneur, they can make a part, maybe a part they would like to patent. They can do it for no cost rather than having to go to a company overseas and spend thousands of dollars.” The IDEAS Center is equipped with 3-D printers, laser printers, and other tools needed to help inspire ideas,” Simpson said.

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Matthew Warren will be the instructor for the new 3-D printing classes. He has received all of the certifications required to teach the class, and will be teaching his students how to use and maintain the machines, 3-D modeling along with some 2-D drawing in order to patent the design, and modeling softwares.

Simpson said this class is part of a 16-hour certification program where students can earn a credential in digital printing technology. The 3-D printing class is one of five classes in the program.

Approximately 20 students can take the class per semester.

With 3-D printing on the rise, jobs will be increasing within the next few years, according to Warren.

“As the field has grown and as more big companies really go in on like the super high engineering-grade materials and the progression of just everything over the last 15 years, it does seem like it’s where a lot of manufacturing is going to go because they can cut time and material costs. They are coming up with plastics that are steel grade in strength and lighter. This would be a preparation for when that becomes a larger part of the actual manufacturing field,” said Warren.

The printers are free to use as long as Warren is present.

“This is a way to inspire innovation in entrepreneurs in the region,” said Simpson.

Classes will begin in March and students can sign up until the first day of class, which is March 15. The lecture will be online and the lab will be Mondays and Wednesdays.

“I get to share this thing that I have been nerding out about over the last like three years and being able to pass it on. The few people that’s been in and out the last few months, seeing them start to nerd out about ‘Oh you know I could do this and replace my whatever with something that I designed or found online and printed,’ just kind of having fun with it” said Warren.