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Press Release

SME, Stratasys Announce Winners of 2024 SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition

SME-Stratasys logo

10th Anniversary of SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., July 2, 2024) - SME, the nonprofit association committed to advancing the widespread adoption of manufacturing technologies and developing North America’s talent and capabilities, and global additive manufacturing leader Stratasys, announced the winners of their cosponsored 2024 Additive Manufacturing Competition, conducted as part of the 60th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, held in Atlanta June 24-28. The competition was supported this year by partners Autodesk, SolidWorks, Future of Jewelry, UltiMaker, Printed Solid, and Allegheny Educational Systems.

This year, teams from one middle school, 35 high schools, and 12 post-secondary schools totaling 97 students from 36 states competed to win.First debuted in 2013 by SME and Stratasys, the contest both 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 one middle school, 35 high schools, and 12 post-secondary schools totaling 97 students from 36 states competed to win. Nearly 500 parts were printed during the three-day competition, all on Stratasys 3D printers.

“Through our partnership with Stratasys at SkillsUSA, we witness firsthand the future of innovation and skill that emerges when students utilize cutting-edge 3D printing technology,” said Rob Luce, Vice President of the SME Education Foundation. “This competition not only highlights students’ technical capabilities but also underscores their potential to revolutionize manufacturing. We are proud to inspire, prepare, and support these young talents who will be tomorrow's industry leaders.”

This year, a mini competition for middle school students was piloted. Introducing students to additive manufacturing at a young age inspires them to consider an education or career in a manufacturing or STEAM-related field.

This year’s competition challenged students to choose between two basic models and make a presentable customer product prototype by altering the physical design, adding colors, applying textures, and/or splitting or adding parts to make multi body/material assemblies. Color, material, and finish of the design were the most important elements of this challenge. Each team presented their process, engineering design notebook and printed designs to the judges.

High school and post-secondary levels of the winning teams received gold, silver and bronze medals from SkillsUSA, scholarships of $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively,High school and post-secondary levels of the winning teams received gold, silver and bronze medals from SkillsUSA, scholarships of $1,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively, from the SME Education Foundation, and a one-year subscription for Tooling U-SME online learning classes. Gold and silver medal-winning high school and post-secondary teams also won professional-grade Prusa MK3S 3D printer kits, while bronze medal-winning high school and post-secondary teams won Prusa Mini 3D printer kits donated by Printed Solid. The gold medal-winning middle school team also won UltiMaker Sketch 3D printers. All levels also received a one-year SME membership. Post-secondary winners also received RAPID + TCT 2025 full-conference conference passes. Every competing student received an Autodesk goody bag.

Middle School Winners

  • Gold Team: Irene Chen, Jackson Fisher, Suri Ha, Sleepy Hill Middle School (Lakeland, FL)

High School Winners

  • Gold Team: Joshua Ridley & Matthew Queen, White Knoll High School (Lexington, SC)
  • Silver Team: Liam Foss & Peter Regas, Mayfield High School (Cleveland, OH)
  • Bronze Team: Emma Belsly & Ethan Cross, Morton High School (Morton, IL)

Post-Secondary Winners

  • Gold Team: Armand Carlo Agbulos & Cody Buchanan, Madison Area Technical College (Madison, WI)
  • Silver Team: Spencer Hachem & Darin Swagerty, Chattahoochee Technical College (Acworth, GA)
  • Bronze Team: Riley Mason & Landon Nelson, Central Community College-Hastings (Hastings, NE)

“Stratasys once again is so proud to be a major sponsor of this competition with SME. This year we challenged the competitors with using textures, colors and design skills which were taught to them at the competition!” said Jesse Roitenberg, Americas education manager at Stratasys. “Many of these competitors had never used color in their Additive Manufacturing designs before and their growth in understanding the process and how to design for that type of 3D print was impressive. These students reinforce that the next generation has brainpower and work ethic to lead the next generation of design and manufacturing.”

In addition to the additive manufacturing competition, 92 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. 62 students of the 92 in attendance passed the exam (67% 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.

“The talent of the student participants has become exponentially more impressive over the five years I have been administering the Additive Manufacturing Competition,” said Sandy Wilton, program manager of student engagement at the SME Education Foundation. “Thank you to our partners for their time and hard work to make this year’s competition a success.”

This year’s SkillsUSA National Leadership committee for Additive Manufacturing was larger than ever, including Casey Melvin, co-founder of THEFUTUREOFJEWELRY. They were instrumental in shaping the competition, including a mini challenge with support from UltiMaker MakerBot.