Skip to main content

A vertical wind turbine, a personalised golf putter and a scuba tank are just some of the prototypes being created by the first cohort of students of a one-year degree in Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) at South East Technological University (SETU).

Additive manufacturing is changing the way things are made. It is commonly known as 3D printing and is the process of creating an object by printing or building it one layer at a time. It has a number of useful applications across a broad range of sectors including Aerospace, Med-Tech, Bio-Pharma, Agri-Tech and Precision Engineering.  

Course leaders at SETU are now looking forward to welcoming a second cohort of students in its part-time Level 7 Bachelor of Science in Additive Manufacturing. The first year of the course, which began in 2022 and is the first of its kind in Ireland, has proven hugely successful, helping position Ireland’s newest Technological University as a Centre of Excellence in this emerging industry.  

The course forms part of the AMASE (Additive Manufacturing Advancing the South East) project and is funded under the Human Capital Initiative which is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union. The course brings together expertise and equipment from the SEAM (South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre) and Design+ Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateways in Waterford and Carlow, as well as 3DWIT, Ireland’s first dedicated centre for 3D printing and training.   

Commenting on the upcoming year ahead, Programme Coordinator David Alarco said: “We’re delighted with the level of interest in the degree, and 13 students are on course to successfully complete the first year, which is testament to the quality of teaching and practical application here at SETU. Additive Manufacturing has endless possibilities in industry and we’re already seeing significant interest in the second year of the course. There is a gap in the market and industries are waiting for our students. It is a technology that is going to change everything, from how we build houses, to how we design medical implants and even how we fly rockets to the moon.” 

For the first time, AMASE is also offering a single module Introduction to Additive Manufacturing Minor Award. The fully online and flexible course is designed to give professionals a greater understanding of the far-reaching impact of Additive Manufacturing across industries. 

David Alarco added, “The Introduction to Additive Manufacturing Certificate is the first in a series of shorter 10-credit awards that we are rolling out. It allows professionals to select individual modules that are relevant to their career and to learn at a more flexible pace. The introductory model may be of interest to professionals, senior managers and business leaders who are interested in exploring how Additive Manufacturing can work for their company. We’re aiming to equip people with the latest knowledge and skills to revolutionise their approach to design and manufacturing.” 

Significant investments have been made in creating a suitable learning environment for the students; with industrial Metal and Polymer 3D printers at both Carlow and Waterford campuses, worth in excess of €3 million. Those who sign up to the degree course will have access to a range of cutting-edge technologies to prepare them for careers in Additive Manufacturing.  

Keith Tracey is a current student on the course. He is a Mechatronic Engineer and said: “The degree course has been a brilliant experience. I build and design prototypes as part of my job and additive manufacturing is pushing the boundaries in what we can make. The course is really well laid out and you’ve got access to all of this incredible technology that you can only dream of. I couldn’t afford to have a €500,000 metal printer at home. I believe this course will open some incredible doors for me and will radically change the direction of my working life.” 

Students are completing their projects this summer and will make a live presentation on the 9th of September, 2023.  

The part-time degree in Additive Manufacturing at SETU is being delivered in a blended mode over two 12-week semesters starting in September. Applications are now open at The cost of the course is €3,000. However the Human Capital Initiative is providing €2,250 funding for each place. Therefore each student will be charged fees of just €750 to do the full 60-credit degree. 

The fully online Introduction to Additive Manufacturing certificate runs over 15 weeks on an ‘on demand’ basis – i.e. students can sign up for the award as and when they choose. The course will run from October and costs €500. Applications are now open at    

It is a technology that is going to change everything, from how we build houses, to how we design medical implants and even how we fly rockets to the moon. David Alarco