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Drive AM

Mission: To produce a superior AM-educated military, domestic manufacturing workforce, and defense supply chain.




The DRIVE AM program trains at three levels of proficiency, each targeting soldiers, technicians, operators, engineers, DoD support personnel, personnel transitioning from the military, or veterans that are (1) in active roles in the military or DoD, or (2) in support of DoD through the defense manufacturing supply chain (including new AM-focused businesses  created as a result of DRIVE AM and DRIVE 3D).

AM Foundation – Provides introductory education in AM process categories, design and CAD, reverse engineering, engineering drawings, intended build interruptions, and other introductory areas that include hands-on activities built around the AM process workflow for a polymer material extrusion desktop 3D printing system

AM Specialty – Building upon AM Foundation, select individuals can pursue specialties in material extrusion or laser powder bed fusion. The most comprehensive AM Specialty program offered is the 15 UTEP credit hour Graduate Certificate in 3D Engineering and Additive Manufacturing. AM Specialty webinars on content for each proficiency topic are also offered.

AM Authority – This designation was designed for individuals with a high level of proficiency in a specific AM focus area, allowing such individual to make informed decisions on AM use and applications. Two AM Authority designations are offered through this program:  AM Authority on Laser Powder Bed Fusion (AM Authority on LPBF) of Metals and AM Authority on Material Extrusion (ME) of Polymers. 

A K-12 STEM Education and Community Outreach Program, known as DRIVE 3D, is offered to ignite interest in STEM career paths and generate a talent pipeline for DoD as well as advocate economic advancement within underrepresented communities of El Paso. 

DRIVE 3D also emphasizes a Business Creation Ecosystem with a focus on the defense manufacturing supply chain: 1) matching teams to business concepts; 2) mentoring companies from startup to small business; 3) training teams in innovation; and 4) growing the innovation ecosystem.

The program described here incorporates a holistic approach for developing proficiency in additive manufacturing, increasing military readiness and adoption of the technology, and supporting the local El Paso community.


AM Foundation

AM Foundation courses effectively introduce participants to the additive manufacturing workflow for desktop and industrial systems.  These courses are currently available or all DoD personnel and DoD contractors.  Engineering Foundation courses provide options for custom curriculum and are typically contracted separately.  The learning objectives for each AM Foundation courses is described in further detail below.

*DRIVE AM courses are currently only being offered virtually through Microsoft Teams.


Introduction to Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Additive Manufacturing (AM)

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the seven process categories of Additive Manufacturing (AM) 
  • Understand the AM workflow (design, fabrication, etc.) 
  • Recognize the limitations of AM 
  • Design parts using Computer Aided Design (CAD) 
  • Prepare parts for printing using slicing software 
  • Apply concepts to a final project for evaluation 


Introduction to Industrial Additive Manufacturing (AM)

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the seven process categories of Additive Manufacturing (AM)
  2. Understand the AM workflow (design, fabrication, post processing, etc.)
  3. Learn the benefits and limitations of AM
  4. Understand reverse engineering and 3D scanning basics
  5. Recognize variables in the material extrusion process chain, that impact final part quality
  6. Recognize variables in the laser powder bed fusion process chain, that impact final part quality
  7. Learn the basics of operating Stratasys Fortus 900mc and EOS M290 industrial printers


Introduction to Enhanced Additive Manufacturing (AM)

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand designing for foreign objects 
  • Select materials and components compatible with manufacturability 
  • Learn to operate slicing software and custom features 
  • Interpret basic G-code for implementing modifications 
  • Identify bonding methods and surface treatments 
  • Explain process planning for enhanced AM  


Additive Manufacturing (AM) in Practice

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the mechanical properties and build parameters of Additive Manufacturing (AM) 
  • Recognize the different methods of measurement and learn their advantages and limitations 
  • Identify printing errors and learn how to fix these issues 
  • Understand the additive manufacturing process chain of Reverse Engineering 
  • Learn about the basics of scanning technology 
  • Practice and learn from SolidWorks exercises 
  • Recognize Finite Element Analysis data using different tools 
  • Familiarize with 3D Software “Geomagic Design X” 
  • Learn the hazards associated with AM feedstock material  
  • Understand engineering principles of stress and strain 
  • Identify emerging Additive Manufacturing technologies 


Laser Powder Bed Fusion Foundation

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the differences between PBF, LPBF vs EBPBF and the ability to explain working principle of LPBF
  • Demonstrate the capability to design for AM (DfAM) LPBF Metals
  • Ability to identify and employ software packages used for pre-processing (STL healing, orientation, part duplication, labeling, support generation)
  • Recognize the commonalities and differences on the primary components/systems of LPBF equipment from different vendors
  • Understand the commonalities for performing machine setups on different LPBF OEM/vendors
  • Ability to perform setup and maintain LPBF equipment using best industry practices
  • Show understanding of powder-laser (material-energy source) interaction; physical phenomena and effects on the LPBF process (print-wise, metallurgically, material properties)
  • Understand effects of process variables such as laser power, velocity, scanning strategy, shielding gas flow, etc.
  • Identify monitoring methods employed in LPBF including advantages and shortcomings
  • Ability to select print material for a given application performing cost-performance analysis
  • Identify the thermal post-processing techniques for a given material and required conditions as set in applicable standards
  • Recognize post-processing needs and methods required for LPBF components


Material Extrusion Foundation

Learning Objectives:

  • Design a part for fabrication using material extrusion
  • Compare slicing software used for material extrusion AM
  • List the material extrusion processing parameters that have an impact on fabrication and part outputs
  • Identify the major components of a material extrusion AM machine
  • Explain the working principle of material extrusion AM
  • Implement a process for material selection given an application scenario
  • Compare materials used in material extrusion AM
  • Identify post processing techniques for a particular application
  • Recognize opportunities for machine maintenance and fabrication troubleshooting


Upcoming Courses

Introduction to Industrial Additive Manufacturing: Material Extrusion and Laser Powder Bed Fusion

Date: November 30 - December 2, 2021
Time: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm MT throughout the three-day duration of the course.
Description: This training is only for DoD personnel and contractors at no cost. A training link will be provided prior to the training date. 
Click here to register https://industrialam1130.questionpro.com 

AM Foundation I Courses
Date: December 7 and 8, 2021
Time: 6 am - 3 pm MT (8 am - 5 pm ET)
Description: This training is only for DoD personnel and contractors at no cost. A training link will be provided prior to the training date.

Click here to register https://driveam12-7-21.questionpro.com

AM Foundation I Courses
Date: December 16 and 17, 2021
Time: 6 am - 3 pm MT (8 am - 5 pm ET)
Description: This training is only for DoD personnel and contractors at no cost. A training link will be provided prior to the training date.

Click here to register https://driveam12-16-21.questionpro.com

  • Scheduled DRIVE AM courses are provided through DRIVE AM funding - no fee for DoD participants
  • Additional course offerings can be contracted separately
  • All courses are virtual unless otherwise specified
  • Travel expenses for in-person courses not supported by DRIVE AM
  • For more info, contact Jose Coronel, DRIVE AM Program Manager .



Connect With Us

The University of Texas at El Paso
W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation
College of Engineering 
Engineering Building Room 108
500 W University 
El Paso, Texas 79968