Like the FIRST competition for students learning robotics, the additive manufacturing world would benefit from a similar competition. One exists.
SME, working with Stratasys, sponsored a student additive manufacturing competition at the 52nd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The students were evaluated on their abilities and knowledge of additive manufacturing/3D printing processes.
SME created the contest to attract students to the emerging technologies and tools involved. These technologies are already relevant to industry and companies are looking for a workforce with additive manufacturing/3D printing experience and ability. The competition helps contestants better understand additive manufacturing applications, and with the support of Stratasys, students get hands-on experience.
22 teams competed in this year’s SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition, and six teams walked away with gold, silver and bronze medals. Prizes for the frontrunners include scholarships from the SME Education Foundation, a MakerBot Mini printer, 3D mouse, and SolidWorks 3D CAD design software.
Now in its second year, the SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing competition included two design challenges and a written knowledge exam to evaluate students’ general understanding of additive manufacturing technology. Each team designed a trading pin and catapult – printed onsite – to meet contest specifications including 3D print time, size, and material usage. Contestants also participated in a catapult challenge to test their designs for distance and accuracy. After completing the design process and challenge, the teams presented their findings and engineering notebooks to a panel of judges – professionals in the additive manufacturing field.
2016 winners of the SME/Stratasys SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition:
High School Teams
- Gold Medal: Christopher Dagher, Justin Heck
Payette River Technical Academy
- Silver Medal: Tommy Tran, Adolfo Diaz
Hastings High School
- Bronze Medal: Corey Daly, Joao Vitor Garcia
Assabet Valley Regional Tech High School
- Gold Medal: Kevin L Barger, Michael T McMahon
- Silver Medal: Collin Goddes, Kyle Brakke
Calhoun Community College
- Bronze Medal: John Welborn, Joshua Branch
Wilkes Community College
Wilkesboro, North Carolina