RCBI to Host SkillsUSA 3D Printing Competition

 BRIDGEPORT — The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) will host West Virginia’s inaugural Additive Manufacturing competition for students during the SkillsUSA State Championships April 16.

Additive Manufacturing – better known as 3D Printing – was first introduced as a demonstration event at the 2015 SkillsUSA National Championships. The competition was added because of growing employment opportunities as more industries adopt the innovative technology.

For the West Virginia competition, RCBI engineers and 3D Printing experts have created a design challenge for participants. The designs will be 3D Printed and evaluated before competition day, at which time students will be required to make modifications. The contest will include a written exam assessing students’ knowledge of 3D Printing design, materials and technology.

“As manufacturers increasingly adopt 3D Printing technology, the demand for skilled workers continues to grow,” said RCBI Director & CEO Charlotte Weber. “Hosting the SkillsUSA contest reinforces our commitment to developing a skilled workforce so American workers can continue to ‘make it here.’”

RCBI also will host the CNC (computer-numerical-control) Technician portion of the state SkillsUSA Championships. RCBI’s experienced machinists will provide drawings of a machinable metal part. Student contestants then will demonstrate their proficiency in programming CNC lathes and mills to manufacture the item.

Both competitions will take place at the RCBI Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center in Bridgeport. State winners – who will advance to the national SkillsUSA Championships June 22-23 in Louisville, Ky. – will be announced that evening during ceremonies at Camp Dawson, Preston County.

RCBI has participated in SkillsUSA for more than a decade with its staff members serving as volunteers to help students prepare for the national competition.