Virginia Community Colleges Creating Curriculum for Additive Manufacturing


   By the end of the summer instructors from both New River Community College and Patrick Henry Community College plan to have assembled a broad curriculum specializing in “additive manufacturing” – more commonly known as 3D printing.
   Jeff Levy, who runs multiple labs for NRCC from its Christiansburg, Virginia campus, says he is teaming up with PHCC’s, Matthew Wade, who operates out of Martinsville.
   “We’ve been working for a year and a half on this and we are just getting to the starting line,” said Levy.
   Levy said he and Wade starting putting the curriculum together because, as he put it, “there wasn’t a lot out there.”
   The curriculum will offer a multi faceted approach that will include a strong component of history, retooling of today’s manufacturing, engineering and an art component.  There will be an early education emphasis as well.
   Whatever the end result Levy said the goal is to make sure the curriculum can change with the progress of this emerging industry.
   “We want to make sure what is applicable today can be changed tomorrow.  We must have a  bridge to the next generation of technology.  We want something we can add and build upon so that it is a viable,” said Levy.
   Levy expects the project to be ready by August 19th – eventually for use by instructors across the country.
   So far New River Community College has invested more than 3/4 of million dollars into additive manufacturing technology which includes more than two dozens 3D printers and 3D printer filaments spread across several different labs.
 by David Tate