Stratasys, SME Name Winners of 2023 SkillsUSA Competition
Stratasys and SME's contest provides students with real-world, hands-on experience that they can apply to a commercial product.
July 10, 2023
SME and Stratasys announce the winners of their co-sponsored 2023 Additive Manufacturing Competition, conducted as part of the 59th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, held in Atlanta. The competition was supported this year by partner Autodesk.
First debuted in 2013 by SME and Stratasys, the contest educates high school and post-secondary students about additive manufacturing technologies and design, plus provides them with real-world, hands-on experience that they can apply to a commercial product. This year, teams from 30 high schools and eight colleges competed to win. More than 500 parts were printed during the 3-day competition, all on Stratasys 3D printers.
“It’s no secret that additive technologies have disrupted the manufacturing industry, and through SME’s partnership with Stratasys we’re giving tomorrow’s talent an opportunity to feel, first-hand, its application on the job,” says Robert “Bob” Willig, executive director and CEO of SME. “One of the things students enjoy most about working through these challenges is experiencing the process of iterating, testing and adjusting their design, which is exactly why additive manufacturing is being embraced globally, across all sectors.”
This year’s competition challenged students to design and print parts to build an assembly that attached to a fixture with a rotating mount point to grab and hold three progressively more difficult objects. Then each team presented their process, engineering design notebook and printed designs to the judges.
One of those judges was SME Board of Directors President, James “Jim” Schlusemann, who says his experience at SkillsUSA as an adolescent was the seed that grew into a fulfilling career in manufacturing at Navistar. Engaging with the Additive Manufacturing contestants at the national conference was “truly a ’full circle’ moment,” he says.
Both levels of the winning teams received gold, silver and bronze medals from SkillsUSA, as well as scholarships of $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively, from the SME Education Foundation. Both levels also received a 1-year subscription for Tooling U-SME classes and a 1-year SME membership, plus post-secondary winners received RAPID + TCT full-conference conference passes. Gold and silver medal-winning teams in both categories also won a professional-grade Prusa MK3S and 3D printer kit donated by Printed Solid. Every competing student also received an Autodesk goody bag.
High School Winners
- Gold Team: Johann Rafanan & Sabal Schuster, Nova High School (Davie, FL)
- Silver Team: Reggie May & Kyra Sandahl, Payette River Technical Academy (Emmett, ID)
- Bronze Team: Alejandro Colon & Daniel Hulse, West-MEC Northwest Campus (Surprise, AZ)
- Gold Team: Dallin Hansen & Tom Swindler, Utah Valley University (Orem, UT)
- Silver Team: Armand Carlo Agbulos & Cody Buchanan, Madison Area Technical College (Madison, WI)
- Bronze Team: David Atess & James McBride, Meridian Technology Center (Stillwater, OK)
“Stratasys is again honored to be a major sponsor of this competition with SME. This year we saw phenomenal participants that learned how to design and 3D Print moving/working assemblies,” says Jesse Roitenberg, Americas education manager at Stratasys. “Many of these competitors had never done that before and their growth in understanding the process and how to design for that type of 3D Print was truly impressive. Again, these students reinforce that the next generation has the skills and work ethic to lead the next generation of manufacturing.”
In addition to the additive manufacturing competition, all 76 students participated in a certification. The Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification Exam was administered to all students free of charge and was included as a percentage of the total points for each competing team. This exam is the first and only certification validating an individual’s knowledge of industry-standard concepts in additive manufacturing, based on revisions to the Additive Manufacturing Body of Knowledge by the Additive Manufacturing Leadership Initiative (AMLI) in 2016.
A total of 44 students of the 76 in attendance passed the exam (57% pass rate, which is the best since 2013). The SME Education Foundation prepared every student with a bundle of 20 Tooling U-SME classes (a value of nearly $400 per student) in advance of taking the exam.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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