At the beginning of May, Autodesk was approached by the founders of an up-and-coming educational program. We’d never heard of them, but we know a good cause when we see it. Since that time, they have profoundly changed 13 lives…and we hope that number grows in the future. The name? 3DVeterans.
The founders of 3DVeterans recognized that at the same time there is a growing skill gap in U.S. manufacturing, veterans are returning home only to find a new struggle: finding meaningful employment. With this realization – and knowing that veterans come with strong technical backgrounds and work ethic – they developed a plan to train and mentor vets in 3d printing and additive manufacturing; emerging industries with a wide skill gap, but great growth potential.
Autodesk entered the picture around the time the founders came to the conclusion that many manufacturing companies have come to; Autodesk software is the best for an end-to-end solution in the future of making things. Needless to say, when they approached us, we were fully committed. Not only were we able to assist by providing our software, but we also developed almost 14 hours of customized educational materials, and some of us were able to help deliver the content live. During the six week course, the students were taught a wide array of different solutions to meet the needs of manufacturing employers, including Remake, Meshmixer, Netfabb, and of course, Fusion 360.
The inaugural program finished in the second week of September, with successes beyond what we could even imagine. Five different graduates earned grants to continue development on their assistive designs, and one exceptional design is in the process of getting patented! All the graduates left the course with the skills to design, print, and service 3d printers which makes them attractive candidates for manufacturing jobs in the additive manufacturing industry and beyond.
To learn more about the program, the vets, and see a sampling of the final projects, see the video posted below:
Congratulations to the organizers on the success of the inaugural run, and HUGE congratulations to all the graduates. I know they all worked incredibly hard, but what they were able to accomplish was nothing less than spectacular. I can’t wait to see where these new – and continually growing – skills take them!