Enginuity Future Skills Hub

Enginuity Future Skills Hub

Engineering and manufacturing is rapidly transforming, making it hard for employers to know what skills they need to keep pace with change.​ ​The Enginuity Future Skills Hub aims to demystify the skills, trends and transitions reshaping industries within the UK’s engineering and manufacturing sector.


What is additive manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is where objects are created by adding material layer by layer, in contrast to traditional manufacturing methods that focus on cutting or shaping materials. 

This allows complex parts to be produced with precision in a variety of materials such as plastics, metals, ceramics, and composites. 

Industrial components

Additive manufacturing explained

How is additive manufacturing used?

  • Rapid prototyping and production of customised and low-volume parts, especially those with intricate and complex geometries 
  • Manufacturing of end-use parts with small to medium production runs 
  • Producing customised tooling, fixtures, jigs, patterns and moulds. 
  • On-demand production of spare parts. 

Benefits of additive manufacturing

Implementing additive manufacturing in small and medium enterprises opens up opportunities for innovation, customisation, and efficiency, providing a competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving manufacturing landscape.

Additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0

Additive manufacturing is a key enabler of , revolutionising production with its ability to create complex geometries, customise products, and reduce time-to-market. It facilitates agile and decentralised manufacturing, promoting on-demand production, mass customisation, and sustainable practices. 

Additive manufacturing and sustainability

Additive manufacturing can support sustainability by enabling on-demand production, reducing material waste, and offering lightweight design options, leading to more efficient use of resources, lower environmental footprint, and more sustainable manufacturing practices.

Industrial component creation

What skills might you need?

Implementing additive manufacturing in small to medium engineering and manufacturing businesses requires a combination of technical, operational, and strategic skills, including:

  • Understanding of Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) 
  • Proficiency in Computer Aided Design (CAD) 
  • Familiarity with a range of materials used in additive manufacturing  
  • Knowledge of various additive manufacturing technologies 
  • Ability to optimise additive manufacturing processes for efficiency and quality 
  • Skills in quality control and testing methods specific to additive manufacturing 
  • Efficient management of materials used in additive manufacturing 
  • Understanding the end-to-end operational workflow of additive manufacturing 
  • Knowledge of post-processing techniques 
  • Basic maintenance skills for additive manufacturing machines 
  • Project management skills to plan and execute additive manufacturing projects 
  • Ability to conduct cost analysis for additive manufacturing projects 
  • Awareness of regulatory requirements related to additive manufacturing 
  • Innovative mindset and problem-solving skills 
  • Effective communication and collaboration with customers 
  • Understanding the strategic implications of additive manufacturing for the business 
  • Being adaptable to technological advancements in the field of additive manufacturing 

Who might need them?

While not everyone in a small to medium engineering and manufacturing company needs to possess all the skills mentioned for additive manufacturing, having a combination of these skills as well as awareness of strategic implication, across different roles and functions is beneficial for successful advanced manufacturing implementation.

These include: 

  • Design for advanced manufacturing and design roles 
  • Machine operators and technicians 
  • Quality control and testing specialists 
  • Materials management and procurement 
  • Project managers 
  • Training and development professionals 
  • Customer-facing roles 
  • Innovation champions and problem solvers 
  • Business leadership and management 

Useful resources

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Moog case study

How Moog INC worked out which products it would be using addictive manufacturing to create, and how it upskilled its team to enable this.

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Additive Manufacturing UK

Visit Additive Manufacturing UK - the trade association for additive manufacturing for further resources, case studies, news and events.

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World Skills UK Additive Manufacturing Competition

This competition focuses on all the essential requirements for a successful career in Additive Manufacturing specialising in CAD software design, alongside FDM 3D Printing and 3D scanning...

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