About the project

The project “ERASMUS3D+: Training material for developing 3D printers” (project E3D+) – co-funded by the European Commission Erasmus+ KA2 programme, project number 2015-1-DE02-KA202-002496 – focuses on the creation of an international vet training programme on 3D Printing. It will consist on be a flexible learning pathway in line with the needs of learners and companies from industrial sector that can use this kind of technology.

Four partner organizations from Germany, Italy, Spain and Slovenia are involved in creating and establishing a collaboration that will end up in the creation of several outcomes all aimed to development of specific, basic and transversal competences and skills relevant for the 3D printing industry, such as management, entrepreneurship, leadership, digital skills and language competence in the field of education and training, through pedagogical approaches developed in the different intellectual outputs.

The project is funded from the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission. The 24-month project will be operational from November 2015 till October 2017.


The field of VET education has been recognized as one of the key drivers within the EU2020 Strategy to overcome the socioeconomic, to boost growth and jobs and to foster equity and inclusion. Moreover, there is a need to provide youth organizations and youth workers with training and cooperation opportunities, to develop their professional skills and the European dimension of youth work.

According to most analysts, the 3-D printing market is expected to grow by leaps and bounds over the coming years. Worldwide shipments of 3-D printers in 2015 will more than double from 2014. Up from 108,151 units in 2014, analyst forecasts shipments of 3-D printers to double every year for a few years, reaching 2.3 million units by 2018. Staggering as the forecast is, they say even those numbers will be a small fraction of the total potential market.

This International VET in 3D printing aims at supporting the development of high quality VET with a strong work-based learning component, involving strong partnerships between education and employment as it seeks to complete a growing need for specialized professionals in a booming sector.

Aims of the project

The E3D+ activities will address the recognition and validation of digital skills and competences, its adaptation to the ECVET and the contribution to the development of the European Area of Skills and Qualifications.

The main objective of this project is to address the need to feed the 3D printing industry that is under high growth with potential users such as students, users, experts and professionals of current sectors, so called “target group”, by developing a thorough VET tool that provides new skills in the “learning pillars” and “promoting entrepreneurship”. Learners and companies from industrial sector that can use this kind of technology.

This project arises from a Strategic Partnership composed by VET providers, higher education institutions and business associations that will actively cooperate among them and key stakeholders (enterprises, regional bodies and other VET institutions) for the development of an online training material on one of the sectors with greater strength in recent times. 3D printing, which will offer an adapted curriculum according to the qualification profile. This initiative complies with one of the principal aims in the Erasmus+ program, promoting synergies and cross fertilisation throughout the different fields of education, training and youth, fostering new ideas, as digital integration in training, attracting new actors from the world of work, education and training for collaborating with, but above all, with the target of stimulating new forms of cooperation.

Action plan

In order to achieve the main aim of the project the partners will implement a series of steps, outputs that will guarantee a good impact over the target group and a sustainable effect over time.

  • O1: Report on the 3D Printing Industry: This Study will provide a complete Analysis of the current skills and qualifications needs of the European 3D Printing Industry compared with the current training offer in Europe.
  • O2: Training path, learning content structure and guidelines for trainers: Activities in this output will be aimed at the definition of the training paths, as well as the definition of the learning content. This output will define and analyse the necessary areas of knowledge and the pedagogical methodologies to provide the specific needs of certain job profiles and different industrial sectors in 3D printing.
  • O3: E-learning Platform: E-learning and content management system will be introduced which aimed at improving access to education and knowledge globally.
  • O4: Modules Material: The material, or contents, for the International VET will be developed in the activities associated to this intellectual output. The intellectual output will comprise all the training materials needed to teach the International VET in 3D printing.
  • O5: Webinar to establish the strategic lines of the future: This Intellectual Output has like objective glimpse the future of both the technology and materials you will use 3D printers as new sectors where they will be able to apply. All this will help us to build new lines of content that will be used in the next years of international VET 3D printing. Another main objective of this Intellectual Outputs is performing a wide dissemination in all media that is doing a course pointer on this technology. Getting to bring all types of users and potential student and make more attractive this kind of discipline.
Transnational Project Meetings

Five transnational project meetings are planned: At the beginning of the project and around the beginning of each semester. These meetings will take place in Germany, Spain, Italy and Slovenia and will have implementation and coordination purposes, quality assurance, and follow up of activities developed and plan for next steps.

Target Group

The project E3D+ is addressed to Students, users and workers who want to expand their formation in a relatively new technology that in the future can be a motor of the industry. Partners will engage local, regional and national stakeholders ranging from traditional and current sectors and local education authorities to decision-makers and members of federal parliaments.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission - application number 2015-1-DE02-KA202-002496. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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