ACCESS-3DP, Art & Creative Enterprises for Successful Streaming of 3D Printing

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ACCESS-3DP is a transnational project funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The project aims at taking Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) as a new, disruptive technology under the umbrella of Advanced Manufacturing in order to set out frameworks to train and upskill workers in the craft and creative industries. It is implemented by five different organisations in France, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Additive Manufacturing (or 3D printing) is one of the technologies under the umbrella of Advanced Manufacturing which has been identified by the European Commission as one of the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). The creative industries are core elements of the European economy. The people active in its development are talented and flexible with a range of core capacities that can be developed and improved naturally through practice in their field’s activities and lifelong learning.

Enterprises in the creative industries are usually small. They find work with clients in sectors that have been traditionally connected to the creative industries for some time, using their flexibility to add value to their products by applying their ability to implement innovative ideas through their work. Increasingly, these capacities are becoming more relevant to the European economy as new sectors find that they need the skills provided by creative enterprises and their workers. At the same time, new and often disruptive technologies come to light and consequently require highly skilled creative labour, to allow maximum exploitation of capital thanks to the tools and machines provided by these technologies.

Such technologies often attract relatively traditional sectors of the economy. However, these sectors often need workers who are ready and competent enough to use the new technologies. On the other hand, when they have a high level of technical skills, workers often lack the core capacities for creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial approach to use technologies such as AM/3D printing. These are working capacities that new technologies require if the capital in the form of tools and machines is to be exploited to the maximum of its potential.

ACCESS3DP brings together an innovative consortium of five partners with experts in 3D printing and design from the VET/HE world and business organisations from creative industries from five EU countries. The partners jointly embrace the following objectives:

  • Identify skills mismatched between the craft and traditional industries with additive manufacturing technologies
  • Respond to the skills needs to develop and tailor VET curricula according to EU standards to foster mobility and employability in craft sectors in Europe
  • Improve the competitiveness and efficiency of the traditional sector enterprises through the use of 3D printing technologies
  • Improve entrepreneurship in craft sectors and the Additive Manufacturing sector through better understanding of the 3D printing value chain
  • Evaluate the impact of tailored training in 3D printing among entrepreneurs and craft workers
  • Sustain the project results, in the course of time, through the development recommendations for certification

A workshop in the form of a short-term joint staff training Learning to Teach (LTT) event (focusing on innovative crafts through 3DP technology will take place towards the end of the project and will involve Associated Partners. At the same time, five Multiplier Events will be organised in order to enhance the impact of the ACCESS-3DP project through the dissemination of the project results.

A partnership bringing together HE, business representatives and research will develop approaches to training people in the creative industries that promote creativity, alongside entrepreneurial thinking and skills for applying innovative ideas in practice. It is vital for anyone working in industries that may apply 3D printing, to understand the "value chain of 3D printing" and how it may evolve over time. Insight needs to be given into where in the chain value is added and how. ACCESS-3DP training materials will empower students to successfully enter the market, and/or to successfully sustain their business. These capacities are becoming increasingly relevant to the European economy as new sectors find they need the skills provided by enterprises in creative industries and their workers and as new, often disruptive, technologies come to light that require highly skilled creative labour for there to be maximum exploitation of capital embodied in the tools and machines of these technologies. Additive manufacturing will be an asset to the factors of competitiveness, such as as flexibility and time to market, among others, for the craft and creative industries.


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