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Lead Instructor(s)
Jul 24 - 28, 2023
Registration Deadline
On Campus
Course Length
5 Days
Course Fee
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The implications of additive manufacturing (AM) span the complete product life-cycle, from concept-stage design to service part fulfillment. Recent advances, including industrially viable high-speed AM processes, improved materials, and optimization software, now enable AM to be considered hand-in-hand with conventional production technologies.

In short, AM is the cornerstone of future digital production infrastructure. Moreover, the unprecedented design flexibility of AM allows us to invent products with new levels of performance, and to envision supply chains that achieve rapid, responsive production with reduced cost and risk.

This course may be taken individually or as part of the Professional Certificate Program in Innovation & Technology or the Professional Certificate Program in Design & Manufacturing.

Course Overview

This fast-paced five-day course at MIT provides learners with a comprehensive understanding of additive manufacturing, its applications, and its implications both now and in the future. The course includes:

  • Technically rich lectures encompassing: AM process fundamentals, material properties, design rules, qualification methods, cost and value analysis, and industrial and consumer applications of AM.  
  • Hands-on lab activities involving both desktop and industrial-grade 3D printers for polymers and metals, addressing the full workflow from design to characterization.
  • An interactive, team-based case study. Students choose to participate in a design competition (using generative design software and 3D printing), to solve a strategy challenge using AM, or to propose a new AM-enabled business endeavor.
  • Visits to local AM startups and an on-demand digital manufacturing facility.
  • A multidisciplinary team of speakers including MIT faculty, industry experts, and special guests.
  • Structured networking activities at several points throughout the week.

The curriculum suits both beginners and experts in AM, and emphasizes both breadth and rigor.  If you have questions, or would like to understand how this course might suit your interests, please contact Prof. John Hart ( or Haden Quinlan (

Learning Outcomes

Learn the fundamentals of additive manufacturing (AM) of metals, polymers, composites, and ceramics, along with those for emerging materials and structures (e.g., electronics, biological tissues).

  • Understand the operating principles, capabilities, and limitations of state-of-the-art AM methods, including laser powder bed fusion, fused deposition modeling, stereolithography, and material jetting.
  • Become familiar with the complete workflow of AM, including computational design, toolpath generation, build preparation, and characterization.
  • Compare and contrast the capabilities of AM with conventional manufacturing methods such as machining and molding in terms of rate, quality, cost, and flexibility.
  • Gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art AM machines.
  • Study applications of AM across industries, including aviation/space, medical devices, automotive, energy, electronics, and consumer products.
  • Via examples and case studies, understand how to quantitatively assess the technical and economic suitability of AM for an application, and project future trends.
  • Place AM in the context of the digital manufacturing infrastructure, including advances in robotics, machine learning, and data science.

Program Outline

Class runs 9:30 am - 5:30 pm on Monday, and 8:30 am - 5:00 pm on Tuesday, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm on Wednesday, 8:30 am - 5:00 on Thursday, and 8:30 am - 2:00 pm on Friday.

There is a networking reception at 6:00 pm on Monday, and other optional evening events may be scheduled later in the week.

Day 1
(9.30 am - 5.30 pm)


  • Introduction to additive manufacturing (AM)
  • AM technology and market landscape
  • Emerging business models

Lunch: Participant introductions; course schedule and logistics


  • AM workflow and design principles
  • Generative design software
  • Team project: session I
  • Cost and value analysis

Day 2:
(8.30 am - 5.00 pm)


  • Cost and value analysis (continued)
  • Extrusion AM processes (polymers and composites)
  • Photopolymerization AM processes (polymers and ceramics)

Lunch discussion: Benchmarking process capabilities


  • Hands-on lab: Fused deposition modeling (FDM) and stereolithography (SLA)
  • Laser powder bed fusion (metals)
  • Team project: session II

Day 3:
(8.30 am - 6.00 pm)


  • Directed energy deposition (metals)
  • Binder jetting (metals)
  • Microstructure and mechanical properties (metals)

Lunch discussion: Standards and qualification


  • Hands-on lab: laser powder bed fusion
  • Hands-on lab: 3D scanning
  • Advanced modeling and machine learning in AM

Day 4:
(8.30 am - 5.00 pm)


  • Tours: Boston-area AM startups and production facility

Lunch discussion: Application discovery (“AM cards” game)


  • Guest speakers: design and applications
  • Integration of AM and electronics
  • AM of biomaterials and tissues
  • Team project: session III

Day 5:
(8.30 am -2:00 pm)


  • Team project presentations and design competition
  • Trajectory and implications of AM
  • Projecting the future of digital manufacturing

Lunch: Continued discussion and wrap-up

Who Should Attend

This course will be useful to design engineers, manufacturing engineers, product designers, research engineers, research scientists, managers, VPs of product development and manufacturing, and technology and innovation strategists. The course material is accessible for those new to AM, yet highly comprehensive and valuable for those who already have significant experience with AM.


Laptops or tablets are encouraged for this course.


"We are creating an additive manufacturing plan for the future and the material learned in this course will be invaluable for this exercise."
"The professor gave an excellent review of all these complex subject matters in a short time. He was able to tailor it for the novice as well as for experts in various subject areas."
"Rich content and great delivery."
"I got an excellent understanding of the scope and state-of-the-art for AM, covering the full range of materials and mega to nano applications."
"I feel like an expert now."
"If you want to get up to speed on AM in just a week, I don't think there is a better way to do it."
"The course covered everything in explicit detail."
Download the Course Brochure
Additive Manufacturing: From 3D Printing to the Factory Floor - Brochure Image

The type of content you will learn in this course, whether it's a foundational understanding of the subject, the hottest trends and developments in the field, or suggested practical applications for industry.

Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools - 40%|Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends - 30%|Industry Applications: Linking theory and real world - 30%
Delivery Methods

How the course is taught, from traditional classroom lectures and riveting discussions to group projects to engaging and interactive simulations and exercises with your peers.

Lecture: Delivery of material in a traditional lecture format - 50%|Discussion or Group Work: Participatory learning - 25%|Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations - 25%

What level of expertise and familiarity the material in this course assumes you have. The greater the amount of introductory material taught in the course, the less you will need to be familiar with when you attend.

Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience - 35%|Specialized: Assumes experience in practice or field - 50%|Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level - 15%