Advanced manufacturing is a rapidly growing field with limitless opportunities for sustainability and innovation. It’s a field we’re super excited about—and we think you should be, too!
If you’re interested in a career that positions you on the cutting edge of technology and applies a host of integrated STEM concepts, consider advanced manufacturing. From scientists who understand chemicals to engineers who can design and optimize processes to mathematicians who create models and simulations, this field has something for everyone. What’s more, the multidisciplinary approach offers opportunities to solve complex problems using creative thinking and STEM principles.
What is advanced manufacturing?
Advanced manufacturing is the use of cutting-edge technologies (think: robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, and 3-D printing) to manufacture products in a more complex, precise, and efficient manner than traditional manufacturing methods.
If you’re interested in advanced manufacturing, your career opportunities are wide open in industries like aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical devices, and consumer goods.
Let’s break it down a little more. Here are four types of advanced manufacturing:
- Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, creates objects by adding material, layer by layer. 3D printing can be used to produce highly complex and specific parts quickly and with minimal waste.
- Robotics is a vast field that uses robots to automate manufacturing processes like assembly, packaging, and more. This technology can improve efficiency, accuracy, speed, and safety!
- Nanotechnology manipulates materials on an atomic and molecular level to create highly advanced materials for specific uses. Nanoscale sensors and advanced coatings are both created using nanotechnology.
- Advanced materials are any materials with superior properties (i.e. strength, durability, or flexibility). Examples include carbon-fiber composites, advanced ceramics, and high-performance alloys.
These new compounds, efficient processes, and automated workflows are the manufacturing of the future.
Fun fact! In 2014, Local Motors produced the world’s first 3D-printed car, the Strati. Produced in just 44 hours and consisting of 49 parts (a traditionally manufactured car has thousands!), the Strati was also the world’s first 3D-printed car to drive on a public road.
Why is advanced manufacturing awesome?
Advanced manufacturing is highly versatile and allows for increased customization in the manufacturing process. Unlike traditional manufacturing, which is often slow to iterate, advanced manufacturing offers flexibility and speed. For example, products can be designed, changed, and produced in just hours using 3D printing technology—something that may take weeks or months in a traditional factory.
Three reasons to be excited about advanced manufacturing:
- Productivity: Technologies like automation and robotics can make manufacturing faster, more efficient, and cheaper, leading to cost savings and faster production.
- Sustainability: Processes like 3D printing can reduce waste and energy consumption in big ways. That’s good for production and the planet.
- Innovation: Advanced manufacturing allows for greater experimentation throughout product design and development. With rapid prototyping and iteration, companies can quickly test and refine new products, giving them a competitive advantage!
Why should you consider a career in advanced manufacturing?
Advanced manufacturing is a rapidly growing industry, which means there is a high demand for skilled workers with STEM knowledge, critical thinking, and creativity in the field. These are often high-paying jobs with the potential for advancement.
It’s also exciting and dynamic work with plenty of opportunities for innovation and impact. You could build a career in advanced manufacturing that gives you the opportunity to develop new products and technologies that make life better for all of us.
Finally, many advanced manufacturing companies are committed to sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices. If you dream of creating a more sustainable future, you could make a difference through a career in advanced manufacturing!
Advanced manufacturing is a rapidly growing field that is critical to the future of industry and an exciting career prospect. Whether you want to explore cutting-edge technologies, contribute to a more sustainable world, or find a high-paying job, advanced manufacturing is a career worth exploring—and there’s never been a better time to get started!
If you want to learn more, Base 11 can help! Join our community and gain access to education and networking opportunities to jumpstart your career.