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3D Printing

From bikinis to prosthetic limbs, 3D printing covers a wide spectrum of possibilities.  Officially labeled additive manufacturing, 3D printing falls within the realm of advanced manufacturing. The notion of three-dimensional printing may sound complex but the process is not and its applications are astounding. 3D printing occurs when a digital file, uploaded by the user, is converted into a physical product. The procedure involves printing three dimensional objects by adding one layer on top of another, utilizing a wide array of materials such as plastic, metal, sand, ceramic, glass, clay, food products or possibly living tissue. A variety of items have been created using 3D technology such as hearing aids, ears, prosthetic limbs, earrings, cell phone cases, cakes, bikinis, chocolate, toys, models, replicas  and dental braces.

3D printing and other advanced manufacturing techniques present job opportunities in manufacturing and other industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that overall employment in the manufacturing industry is expected to decline slightly between the 2012 and 2022 decade while jobs in the advanced manufacturing subsector are projected to build. In fact, 3D printing is expected to be valued at $8.41 billion by 2020. Consequently, 3D technology could propel job growth in other industries including but not limited to fashion, consumer products, medical, automotive, education, food and aerospace. In fact, the field could create and increase opportunities for a variety of occupations such as Project Engineers, Marketing Research Analysts, CAD/CAM Programmers, CNC Programmers, Biomedical Engineers, Process Engineers, Programmers, Mechanical Drafters and Graphic Designers.

3D technology has a bright future but training is needed. A study conducted by the Center of Excellence revealed that some employers had difficulty finding applicants with 3D modeling/printing knowledge and/or other advanced manufacturing experience. Additionally, employers noticed a gap in current education offerings and actual skill requirements. Some community colleges and universities have developed programs to introduce 3D technology into curriculum and acquired 3D printers for students to gain practical knowledge.  El Camino College currently has two 3D printers.

The federal government is supporting additive manufacturing by giving $30 million to create America Makes, a group of community colleges, universities, non-profits and manufacturing firms that will offer additive manufacturing training.

To find out additional information about 3D Printing, please select the following link:

By Tanysha Q. Laney


2014 Manufacturing’s New Momentum

Advanced Manufacturing, Center of Excellence, December 2013

Bureau of Labor Statistics


Time to Completion (2012-2013)

On Friday, May 16th, many El Camino College students, faculty, and staff will be attending the 67th commencement ceremony to celebrate the class of 2013-2014. For many, this marks the end of their time here at ECC, but the beginning of the next phase of their lives (whether that is employment, transferring to a 4-year institution, or another goal). Have you ever wondered how long students typically spend at ECC or ECC Compton Center en route to completing their certificate or degree?

We recently released an annual report examining the time to completion for students who earned a certificate or degree in the 2012-2013 year.

Time to Completion 2012-2013

This report examined the time between first enrollment and completion for the 3,008 degrees and certificates awarded at El Camino College (ECC) and ECC Compton Center (Compton Center) during the 2012-2013 academic year. Results showed that few students finished a degree within their first two years (10% ECC, 6% Compton Center), with median times to degree of 4 years for ECC, and 4.5 years for Compton Center.

Certificate earners had similarly modest completion numbers, with 17% of ECC and 18% of Compton Center students completing their certificates within normal time. The median time to completion for certificate earners was 4 years at ECC and 3.5 years at Compton Center. Results are disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, age, and units completed.

One thing that may impede a student’s velocity through their academic program is taking too many classes that aren’t directly tied to their goal. Of all degree earners, 32% at ECC and 23% at Compton Center had earned more than 90 units.

Degree units earned 2012-2013

It is not clear why students earned more than 90 units – it could be that students previously earned a different degree or certificate, were pursuing a double-major, changed their major after taking several courses, or that students were not focused during their initial time at ECC or Compton Center. It is hoped that the latter will be less likely to happen in the future with the usage of educational planning during matriculation.

Read the full report on our website.


By Preston Reed, PhD