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.