SME and Stratasys have announced the winners of their co-sponsored 2019 Additive Manufacturing Competition, held during the 55th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, KY, in late June. Six teams—three high school and three college teams—received top honors for the designs they created during the three-day contest. SME and Stratasys have collaborated on the contest for the past 5 years, designing the challenge to educate high school and postsecondary students about additive manufacturing technologies while providing them with real-world, hands-on experience using the technology.
“Every year the participants in our SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition impress us with how much they know about the technology and how resourcefully they approach the contest challenges,” says Sandra L. Bouckley, FSME, P.Eng., executive director and CEO, SME. “Additive manufacturing is an integral part of the future of manufacturing across every industry.”
SME created the Additive Manufacturing Competition to attract and introduce the younger generation to emerging technologies that manufacturers have adopted over the past few years. With the support of Stratasys, the competition has grown from 13 teams since the contest began in 2015 to 47 teams that competed this year.
“For five years, we’ve partnered with SME for this incredible event—providing students with real-world experience to test the power of additive manufacturing and how it’s transforming business. No other event comes close to giving high school and postsecondary students the hands-on experience required to compete in the workforce,” says Gina Scala, marketing director, global education at Stratasys. “Each year, the entries get better and more innovative. These are a great batch of students today, who will turn into the industry leaders of tomorrow.”
SME and Stratasys also partnered with FANUC—a provider of robotics, CNC systems and factory automation — to develop the 2019 challenge, which required participants to design, fabricate and apply an end-of-arm tool in a simulated real-life manufacturing robotics scenario involving a full-production sedan assembly line. By the end of the challenge, participants demonstrated their ability to conceptualize, design, iterate and apply a 3D-printed tool, which, aided by a robot running a pre-installed program, repeatably placed an emblem on a target in the correct position and orientation.
“FANUC’s certified robotics and automation education programs focus on the need to prepare a pipeline of workers who possess the core competencies and automation technology skills to work in high-tech manufacturing,” said Paul Aiello, director of education, FANUC America. “My hope is that events like this will help inspire students to look at what manufacturing offers as great careers with growth opportunities, high wages and strong benefits packages.”
In addition to the design challenge, students took Tooling U-SME’s Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification exam to test their knowledge of additive manufacturing. This certification is ideal for high schools and colleges as a capstone or standalone achievement to increase workforce readiness in this market.
The winning teams received gold, silver and bronze medals from SkillsUSA as well as scholarships from the SME Education Foundation (for high school participants), a one-year subscription for Tooling U-SME classes, RAPID + TCT conference passes (for postsecondary participants), Solidworks’ 3D-CAD design software and a MakerBot Mini printer (gold medal winners).
More than 6,500 career and technical education students –– all SkillsUSA state contest winners –– competed in 103 different hands-on trade, technical and leadership fields during the national conference.
2019 winners of the SME/Stratasys SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition:
High School Teams
Gold Medal: Hunter Donahoe, Gabe Yeoman, Spring Valley High School, Huntington, WV
Gold Medal: Donovan Gentles, Wyatt Brogden Butte College, Oroville, CA
Silver Medal: Griffin Rossberg, Spencer Richardson, Wasatch High School, Heber City, UT
Silver Medal: Brandon Lund, Cody White, Texas State Technical College - Waco, Waco, TX
Bronze Medal: Jordan West, Justin Morrow, Millard North High School, Omaha, NE
Bronze Medal: Dylan Murphy, Makayla Yount, Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, NC
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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