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Polymer Additive Manufacturing

Course# Date Time Location

Coming Soon

Cost: $1,200 USD
CEU's: 1.6
Instructor: Joseph E. Sumerak

Course Overview

Additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP) technologies have become widespread in all segments of research, development and manufacturing. It is essential that research, development and engineering professionals are aware of and familiar with the tools and techniques that are available to them to execute their tasks in the current competitive environment. The University of Akron, and its affiliated organizations, are in a position to educate and demonstrate already established and emerging technologies in a comprehensive curriculum of lectures and hands-on laboratory experiences.

As part of this 2 day course, a wide range of AM and 3DP content will be covered including:

  • History of 3D printing technology
  • Current market
  • Introduction to 3D printing concepts
  • Focus on methods
  • Focus on materials
  • 3D CAD modeling
  • Printer operation
  • Maintenance of printer platforms
  • Advances in printer capabilities
  • Alternative print methods
  • Part enhancement by secondary finishing
  • Economics of 3D printing
  • Pace of innovation and emerging technologies

Interactive live demonstrations include:

  • Definition and 3D CAD design of a complex part using Solidworks®
  • FDM and Polyjet® part manufacture
  • Substrate removal methods

Instructor Biography:

JOESUMERAK-2Joseph E. Sumerak received BSE (1973) and MSE (2001) degrees in Polymer Science from the Case Western Reserve University Department of Macromolecular Science. Sumerak has enjoyed a forty year career in composite materials design and manufacturing and has founded and operated several successful business ventures. Rapid prototyping methods were employed frequently in the execution of tooling and process development tasks in this field. In 2011 Sumerak started 4D Parts Direct, a 3D printing service provider, to expand upon this interest with a broad customer and market focus.

Day One Content Outline

  1. History of 3D printing technology development
    1. Founders and early adaptors - SLA and FDM methods
      1. Rapid prototyping – materials and methods
    2. Evolution of alternative methods
    3. Introduction of alternative materials
    4. Post patent, third party material options
    5. Current expanse of methods and materials
      1. Polymeric
      2. Metal
      3. Ceramics
      4. Foodstuffs
      5. Fabric
      6. Biological
  2. Current market
    1. Size and segments
    2. Principal players
      1. 3D Systems
      2. Stratasys
      3. Consolidation through acquisition
    3. Recent entries to equipment and process market
    4. Resources for market and technology inquiry
  3. Introduction to 3D Printing Concepts
    1. Additive versus subtractive methods
    2. Enabling technology - 2D CAD to 3D solid modeling
    3. Universal file format
      1. STL file features
      2. Toolpath generation software
    4. 3D object development
      1. Layer resolution
      2. Effects of print orientation
      3. The role of support material
      4. Support removal methods
    5. Inherent flaws of printed parts
      1. Surface smoothness
      2. Porosity
      3. Anisotropic properties
  4. Focus on methods (Emphasis on polymer methods)
    1. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
    2. Stereolithography (SLA)
    3. Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP)
    4. Digital Light Projection (DLP)
    5. ZCorp Powder base
      1. Infusion resins
      2. Full color
    6. Polyjet (Objet)
      1. Digital materials
      2. Full Color Polyjet
      3. Multi-material
    7. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
    8. Metal printing (DMLS)
    9. Electron Beam (EB)
    10. Paper based processes
      1. MESA
      2. Carbon fiber paper
    11. Composite material processes
      1. Markforged continuous fiber
      2. Lamination and pressing methods
  5. Focus on materials
    1. Anisotropic properties based on methods
    2. Material choices
      1. Thermoplastics
      2. Thermosets
      3. Compounded materials
      4. Digital materials
      5. Fiber and particle reinforced materials
  6. Define and design a complex demo part 3D CAD model using Solid Works
    1. Included features
      1. Thick and thin sections
      2. Blind holes
      3. Swept blind hollow features
      4. Over-hanging geometry
      5. Integral engraved and embossed text
    2. Discussion of support material
      1. Nature of support
      2. Effect on print time
      3. Support removal
    3. Generate STL file
  7. An overview of the steps for part printing will be reviewed for FDM and Polyjet processes
    1. Part placement decisions
    2. Process STL file for the printer software platform and load into printer job queue
    3. Generate part printing statistics – model and support material consumption and print time
    4. Start print operations that will conclude after class hours

Day Two Content Outline

  1. FDM Printer
    1. Remove part from printer and review print statistics
    2. Remove support material using mechanical methods for accessible features
    3. Review and initiate soluble support removal method for blind features
  2. Polyjet Printer
    1. Remove part from printer and review print statistics
    2. Remove support material using mechanical methods for accessible features
    3. Review and initiate waterjet support removal method for blind features
  3. Review and contrast capabilities of other installed 3D printer assets (if available in Print Lab)
    1. Fusion FDM
    2. Markforged FDM composite materials
    3. Form 2 SLA
  4. Discuss maintenance of the printer platforms and advances in more recent printer capabilities
  5. View videos of other print technologies
    1. Markforged (reinforced FDM)
    2. Form 2 (SLA)
    3. EOS powder based polymer (SLS)
    4. EOS Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
  6. Previously printed part developed on Day One by alternative print methods will be inspected and discussed
    1. Compare quality and properties
    2. Compare commercial pricing vs costing of in house methods
    3. Effect of batch size on pricing
  7. Part enhancement by secondary finishing
    1. Bead blast
    2. Sanding
    3. Coating
    4. Plating
    5. Infusion
    6. Vapor smoothing
    7. Finishing for transparency
  8. Economics of 3D printing
    1. Can it be competitive with traditional methods?
    2. Cost components
      1. Material cost
      2. Process cost
        1. Design support pre-printing
        2. Print time
        3. Post-printing support removal
        4. Secondary finishing
        5. Benefits of batching and nesting
          1. Planar platform methods vs powder bed methods
    3. The role of the service provider
    4. Equipment purchase decision
      1. Entry level vs production equipment
      2. Quality
      3. Repeatability
  9. Pace of innovation and emerging technologies
    1. Known pending technical evolution
    2. Technical barriers to widespread adoption
    3. The global marketplace
  10. Wrap up Q&A


If you have any questions or need more information about this course, please contact:

Penelope Pinkston


Online Registration


Registration Form

Registration information: Registration shall remain open until posted as closed on the course listing on this site.

Registrations must be guaranteed by check, a purchase order number or a credit card, otherwise the registration will not be processed. Checks should be made payable to "The Akron Polymer Technology Services Training Center" and must include a copy of your completed registration form. Course fees are due before attending.

All registrations—whether by online, phone, fax or mail—will be confirmed and considered binding and subject to all cancellation policies. If you do not receive a confirmation prior to the class, please call The Akron Polymer Technology Services Training Center to verify your registration.

Course fee includes classroom instruction, instructional materials, parking permits, continental breakfast, lunch, beverages and refreshment breaks. Travel and hotel accommodations are not included.


Visit our registration webpage to view our cancellation/withdrawal policy.