Essential 3D Printing Skills You Need Right Now!

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: June 25, 2022

Industry development has outpaced workforce education due to disruptive breakthroughs like 3D printing.

3D Printing Skills

Employees must re-skill or up-skill to become Additive Manufacturing (AM) specialists. 3D printing skills are in high demand, especially in this age of digitization.

New equipment and materials enter the booming and dynamically evolving AM sector every year.

To further comprehend the particular abilities required for AM, you must first recognize that it is a collection of manufacturing processes and technologies.

3D printing is undeniably a groundbreaking technology. Global business titans and governments are stepping up to make technology more accessible to end-users.

As a result, enormous progress has been made. The costs have gone down, enticing more people to try it.

3D Printing Skills. What Skills Are Needed for 3D Printing?

Beginners have a persistent dread of not being able to handle the abilities necessary to run 3D printers. It always coexists with their excitement about realizing their creative visions through the medium of 3D printing.

The common reason individuals give up on 3D printing is this: if you want to be part of that team and have a profession in 3D printing, you shouldn’t be afraid to learn what it takes to get there.

Here are some of the 3D printing skills you need:

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Simulation

An important part of additive manufacturing (AM) is computer-aided design (CAD). You always use the output from 3D model software to develop or recreate your geometric shape.

CAD is the most challenging of the Additive Manufacturing skillsets for new operators to learn because of the large number of skills required.

Creating, changing, or upgrading a 3D model is among the most valuable skills in additive manufacturing (AM).

A good CAD designer’s originality and knowledge cannot be readily reproduced. CAD design software is easier to use and more accessible.

However, anyone who wants to use it still needs to know how to do Computational Modeling, Design Thinking, Engineering, and Analysis.

Application and Reverse Engineering

Suitable applications require knowledge of software and systems. Part selection and screening are essential.

A thorough understanding of processing parameters like overlaps and contouring is required to pick the best quality part specifications. You need to know which parts work best and cost-effectively to make AM profitable.

Reverse engineering is necessary to duplicate historical parts and add AM-enabled part advancements directly.

Using 3D printing for outdated or replacement items is an appealing and important aspect for many firms. Detailed 3D laser scans and tight tolerances capture complex geometries, necessitating quality control.

Expert designers understand the advantages and disadvantages of AM and other manufacturing techniques because not every re-engineered item is amenable to AM.

They can pick the best solution or perhaps a hybrid solution that incorporates both.


Finishing is vital when making 3D printed parts since they provide unique challenges compared to parts from machine operation. Some machines’ multilayer 3D printing processes may not be as precise as other production methods.

However, traditional CNC machining is necessary for 3D finishing to achieve the high dimensional precision required for production products.

Making something with additive manufacturing isn’t just about designing it.

The degree of post-processing skills needed to manufacture precise and accurate model representations includes a distinguishing professional feature that can get the desired result of the design requirements

Critical Thinking and Soft Skills

In the whole manufacturing process, you should not overlook problem-solving, logical thinking, and critical thinking skills, even though there is always a lot of attention paid to hands-on technical skills.

Also, interpersonal skills like collaboration, communication, and leadership skills are crucial for your additive manufacturing workforce today and in the years to come.

Schools are designing and launching 3D printing programs to overcome the skills gap. Trainers who can teach both the business aspects and technical advancements of 3D printing will be highly demanded.

There is no better way to capitalize on technological advancements than to have your team be trained in such skills if you’re a professional looking to progress your career or a company owner seeking fresh talent.

What Training Is Needed to Operate a 3D Printer?

Getting into professional 3D printing isn’t easy. You need technical prowess to utilize the benefits of 3D technology fully. Many firms now provide 3D printing training to assist students and professionals thrive.

Also, there are a lot of online courses that can help you to gain 3D printing skills.

Mechanical expertise is key to grasping how this technology works, primarily if the printers need fixing. To ensure quality products, you must pay close attention to detail.

3D printing technicians must communicate well since most communication will be moderated. You will also require great organizational skills to handle the printing process properly.

How Do I Start a Career in 3D Printing?

The most crucial aspect is the desire to pursue a career that combines creative design with mathematical precision. If you’re keen on learning, you could look at online lessons or enroll in a 3D designing and development program.

A bachelor’s degree is key to beginning a career in 3D printing. Employers will prioritize applicants with degrees in visual arts, application & reverse engineering, or computer science.

To become a 3D printing technician, you’ll also need relevant manufacturing or production expertise. Manufacturing and bespoke prototyping enable users to visualize their desired product and build a digital representation.

There are a lot of career opportunities, and companies are always interested in new talent with the ability to show their skill set and creativity in this new technology.

Is Coding Required for 3D Printing?

We can pinpoint two programming characteristics in 3D printing – 3D graphics programming and 3D printer programming.

These two key concerns allow you to maximize 3D printing. However, you can use a Zortrax 3D printer without programming skills.

You don’t need to know any coding commands if you’re a casual user. The slicing program does it all. But imagine you want to work in this field. Then you need to learn coding or G-Code.

The G-Code is a numerical programming language used to control a machine via a computer. The computer-compatible language operates the machine and provides all essential commands for the gadget to move and act.

What Does a 3D Printing Engineer Do?

3D printing engineers design new prototypes, including ones with intricate internal geometries and structures, address flaws, and develop solutions without leaving their respective work areas. They help keep the whole production area clean or fix the 3D printers.

A 3D printing engineer will need to plan the printers’ daily routines. The engineer will test clients’ ideas for 3D printing compatibility.

Also, engaging with production employees to implement innovative work practices and provide suggestions on simplifying the printing process.

3D Printing Job Description [Examples]

The 3D printing sector offers a range of professions. It depends on your country, experience, position, and the market forces of workers in that sector.

Here are some 3D printing jobs available:

As technology advances, the 3D printing sector is a global business growth in demand.

Related: What Is 3D Printing Used For?

Can You Start a Business With a 3D Printer? [Business Aspects]

You may start a 3D printing business by manufacturing prototypes for others. Entrepreneurs look to produce a product on budget and timely turn to 3D printing professionals.

A 3D printer can produce anything and give your business new alternatives for promotional products.

Starting a 3D printing business isn’t difficult. Learn how to lower total cost per part by reducing major cost levers.

You must comprehend the qualitative and quantitative aspects of different business models and how to present them to various stakeholders. You need to exercise caution to safeguard your intellectual property through patent laws.

Is 3D Printing in High Demand?

3D printing is at the vanguard of a breakthrough technology that will revolutionize the manufacturing industry for the better. The sector growth has outpaced workforce learning like many innovative technologies.

Technological innovation will not result in employment losses but rather job growth. As enterprises flourish, personnel agencies and educators need to find and train qualified workers.

Not only will the need for engineers has increased, but also for technicians and salespeople.

You might like: Are 3D-printed Houses Available Yet?


There is still a lot more to learn and discover in 3D printing. The field is developing, as is the technology.

So, 3D printing is 100% unpredictable. But one thing is certain. You will always succeed if you master 3D printing.

You will never squander knowledge and expertise. It’s possible to start your 3D printing business if you don’t want to work for someone else and, at the same time, be successful.

Michael Brooks is the founder of He sees a very bright future for 3D printing that's why his mission is to try and make this easy for everyone. Discover your hidden talent and creativity. You can follow here: Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.