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Press Release

SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Contest Winners Design Device to Assist Veteran with His Favorite Pastime

(SOUTHFIELD, Mich., and MINNEAPOLIS) — SME and Stratasys Ltd. today announced the winners of this year’s additive manufacturing student competition held at the 54th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

During the past four years, SME and Stratasys have collaborated on the Additive Manufacturing Competition — a contest designed to stimulate student knowledge of additive manufacturing and 3D printing techniques. This year’s contest included 44 teams representing high schools, colleges/universities and career technical institutions — each competing for a chance to take home a gold, silver or bronze medal. Prizes include scholarships from the SME Education Foundation (for high school participants), a one-year Tooling U-SME subscription, RAPID + TCT conference passes, Solidworks’ 3D-CAD design software and a MakerBot Mini printer.

“The SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition allows students to explore and apply promising emerging additive technologies that are increasingly used in manufacturing operations,” said Jeff Krause, executive director and CEO of SME. “SME and Stratasys have built a competition that is inspiring and attracting tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce.”

This year’s challenge focused on solving a real-life medical problem for a veteran who endured a traumatic thumb amputation on his left hand. As part of the contest, students watched an introductory video to learn about the patient’s disability, assessed his current condition and determined how each could design an adaptive device enabling the veteran to continue using his PlayStation 3 gaming system. The winning devices consisted of 3D-printed parts designed to allow the veteran to comfortably use a PlayStation 3 controller, without his current silicone prosthetic.

“The SkillsUSA contest is designed to help students and educators realize the power of additive manufacturing to drive innovation,” said Gina Scala, director of marketing, global education at Stratasys. “This year’s competition was particularly meaningful as it directly resulted in enhancing a veteran's life with a custom solution not possible without additive manufacturing.”

In addition to the design challenge, students had a chance to take Tooling U-SME’s Additive Manufacturing Fundamentals Certification exam to test their knowledge of additive manufacturing.

More than 18,000 people — including students, teachers and business partners — participated in events at the SkillsUSA National Conference, highlighting the capabilities of career and technical education students in their respective fields.

2018 winners of the SME/Stratasys SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition included:

High School Teams

College Teams

Gold Medal: Getty George, Sam Green

Martin Luther King High School

Riverside, California


Gold Medal: Adolfo Vargas, Alexander Kemnitz

Central Community College-Hastings

Hastings, Nebraska


Silver Medal: Noah Logan, Johnathan Urbani

Stafford Tech Center

Rutland, Vermont


Silver Medal: Deema AL Namee, Aric Donerkiel

Vermont Technical College

Randolph Center, Vermont


Bronze Medal: Andrew Daddone, Layke Martin

Frederick County Career & Tech Center

Frederick, Maryland

Bronze Medal: William Swaner, Ashton DeZwarte

Tennessee College of Applied Tech-Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee

Click here to see the devices this year’s winners designed. View our Flickr photos from the competition as well as a video about the 2018 contest. To learn more about SME and SkillsUSA click here.


About SME

SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With more than 85 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, and also through an education foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or




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