SME Announces Winners of the 2016 SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition

DEARBORN, Mich., July 5, 2016 — (PRNewswire) —   SME, working with Stratasys, sponsored a student additive manufacturing competition at the 52nd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, June 21-23. The students were evaluated on their abilities and knowledge of additive manufacturing/3D printing processes.

SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition contestants Justin Heck (left) and Christopher Dagher (right), from Payette River Technical Academy in Emmett, Idaho, arrived early on day 3 of the contest to prep their designs for judging. Heck and Dagher won the gold medal, ranking in the top spot of the high school participants.

SME created the additive manufacturing contest to attract students to the new, exciting, emerging technologies and tools involved. These technologies are already very 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, the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, students get hands-on experience using the latest 3D printing technology and software.

Twenty-two teams competed in this year's SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition, and six teams walked away with gold, silver and bronze medals for showcasing excellence in the field of digital and additive manufacturing. Prizes for the frontrunners include scholarships from the SME Education Foundation, a MakerBot Mini printer, 3D mouse, and SolidWorks 3D CAD design software.

"The winners of this year's Additive Manufacturing competition represent some of the best and brightest at their schools," said Jeff Krause, CEO of SME. "Additive manufacturing/3D printing is growing rapidly, and the demand for talent in this field continues to outpace the availability of the workforce. Capturing the attention of high school students is key to securing a skilled workforce."

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.

The National SkillsUSA conference hosted the top 6,000 high school and college students out of 300,000 contestants nationally to the week-long championship event that highlight the capabilities of career and technical education students in their respective fields.

2016 winners of the SME/Stratasys SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition:

High School Teams


College Teams

Gold Medal: Christopher Dagher, Justin Heck

Payette River Technical Academy

Emmett, Idaho


Gold Medal: Kevin L Barger, Michael T McMahon

Sheridan College-Sheridan

Sheridan, Wyoming


Silver Medal: Tommy Tran, Adolfo Diaz

Hastings High School

Hastings, Nebraska


Silver Medal: Collin Goddes, Kyle Brakke

Calhoun Community College

Decatur, Alabama


Bronze Medal: Corey Daly, Joao Vitor Garcia

Assabet Valley Regional Tech High School

Marlborough, Massachusetts

Bronze Medal: John Welborn, Joshua Branch

Wilkes Community College

Wilkesboro, North Carolina


View our Flickr photos from the competition. To learn more about SME and SkillsUSA click here.

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Oneika Mobley, Senior PR Representative, SME
Email Contact (313) 425-3189 office, (313) 728-9496 cell

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