TAFE students tool up to print advanced manufacturing education pathway

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
5 Min Read

TAFE Queensland students will now have access to a state-of-the-art 3D metal printer capable of creating parts for use in engineering, construction robotics and the advanced manufacturing sector.

TAFE Queensland Eagle Farm campus. continues to grow its emerging industries training resources, recently taking delivery of a  Markforged Metal X Printer capable of printing metal components ranging from stainless steel to copper for use in the in-construction Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Centre (RAMC) at the TAFE Queensland Eagle Farm campus. 

Markforged Chief Executive Officer Shai Terem visited TAFE Queensland Eagle Farm to discuss the training applications the printer was designed for and how it will strengthen TAFE Queensland’s existing arsenal of advanced manufacturing training equipment across the state, which features composite printers located on TAFE Queensland campuses from North Queensland through to the state’s south-west. 

Terem says TAFE Queensland was not only keeping pace with the advanced manufacturing industry but accelerating beyond most manufacturing businesses’ progress in advanced manufacturing techniques and equipment. 

“This is the second Metal X printer at a TAFE in Australia, and TAFE Queensland is the first with both metal and production composite 3D printers, which is inspiring for anybody interested in the future of the manufacturing industry in Australia,” he says. 

High-performance manufacturing training

The Markforged Metal X Printer is used in the manufacturing industry to quickly make bespoke parts in-house to incredibly tight tolerances. An example of the industry use of these machines is in the motorsport sector, where local specialist engineering businesses need to manufacture high-performance parts in tight deadlines when things are broken or damaged in crashes.

“By having technology like the Metal X at TAFE Queensland, the next generation of manufacturing will be educated on how to use 3D printing to solve problems right on their factory floor.”

Markforged CEO Shai Terem shows the ability of the Metal X Printer to TAFE Queensland Brisbane General Manager Brent Kinnane

TAFE Queensland Brisbane General Manager Brent Kinnane says training for emerging industries was a foremost focus for TAFE Queensland across the state, and that possessing industry-leading equipment was key to delivering on this focus. 

“TAFE Queensland trains students in skills for now and for the future, and additive manufacturing is an area we have been delivering training in across many campuses to support the advanced manufacturing industry in Queensland,” Kinnane says.

“Talking to Shai Terem today, he was very impressed at TAFE Queensland’s position to provide advanced manufacturing training to students across Queensland. I am extremely proud that industry leaders recognise our training as being ahead of the game.”

“We are in this position due to the invaluable industry partnerships that TAFE Queensland has across the industries it services,” he says.

As the needs of the industries we service change, Kinnane told EducationDaily that “our training products and delivery to ensure TAFE Queensland students always receive job-ready training” must evolve too.

“To do this successfully, our teachers commit to lifelong learning and upskilling to ensure TAFE Queensland meets the needs of industries now and into the future. The introduction of Markforged printers to our training facilities has seen eight leading vocational teachers receive vital training from Australian distributor Core Additive to upskill into operating these machines. These leaders then take their newfound skills back to their regions and pass them on to their local colleagues.”

Kinnane told EducationDaily TAFE Queensland knows that the industries it serves are constantly progressing, and, to ensure its students have access to leading training, he says it’s “of utmost importance” that their teachers remain ahead of current and emerging industry trends.

“That is why all TAFE Queensland teachers complete mandatory industry currency activity annually, where they return to industry for a period and immerse themselves in prevailing trends,” he says.

“Additionally, we are grateful to have a strong network of emerging industries partners who are crucial to our course development and teacher training in new technologies – these industry partnerships are key to TAFE Queensland’s emerging industries strategy.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.