3D Printing Technician

Job Description:

3D printing technicians manufacture products, including biomedical implants, car parts, aerospace components and fashion accessories.

Job Category:
Manufacturing & Electronics

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • create estimates and quotes for parts and materials
  • set up machines and schedule print jobs
  • create digital models and prototypes based on customer requirements
  • operate 3D scanning and printing machinery
  • clean, sand, polish or apply finishes to products
  • inspect products to check quality
  • pack items for delivery and update paperwork
  • service and repair equipment


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of maths
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • organisational & admin skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • 3D design
  • product design
  • engineering
  • materials science

You could take a course in creative design, model making or engineering. This could help you to find a job with a manufacturing or 3D printing company.

UK courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Computer Aided Design
  • Level 3 Award in 3D Computer Aided Design
  • Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Technology
  • T Level in Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Lean manufacturing operative intermediate apprenticeship
  • Digital engineering advanced apprenticeship
  • Engineering technician – product design and development advanced apprenticeship

You may be able to start as an assistant in a 3D print workshop and take training on the job to become a technician. Skills and qualifications in manufacturing, model making, printing, technology or design will be useful.

School Subjects

To become a 3D Printing Technician in the UK, specific GCSE subjects are not mandatory, but certain subjects can be beneficial in developing the skills and knowledge required for this role, such as:

  1. Design and Technology (or Resistant Materials): This subject can provide practical skills in design and manufacturing, which are directly applicable to 3D printing.
  2. Mathematics: Strong mathematical skills are important for measurements and calculations involved in 3D printing processes.
  3. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Knowledge of ICT is valuable for using 3D modeling software and operating 3D printers.
  4. Physics: Studying physics can provide insights into the mechanical and engineering principles involved in 3D printing.
  5. Art and Design: Creative skills can be useful for creating and modifying 3D models for printing.
  6. Computer Science: Knowledge of computer programming and coding can be advantageous in advanced 3D printing and customization.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at a manufacturing plant, in a factory or at a research facility.

Your working environment may be noisy.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career Path & Progression:

You could move into research, investigating new materials for use in 3D printing and how to make them commercially workable. You could also train to work in 3D printing software and hardware development.

You might work for a company that specialises in printing particular items, for example custom-made prosthetics, construction prototypes, or models of archaeological remains and historical buildings.

There are also opportunities in print equipment sales and training.