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Project MFG Holds Inaugural Additive Manufacturing Competition in Austin, Texas

The Travis High School Robotics Club won Project MFG's inaugural Additive Manufacturing Competition. Held in collaboration with the Austin Center for Manufacturing and Innovation, competitors created a grappling/end-effector for use in a lifesaving event.
Jan 16, 2023

In the pursuit to expand the outreach of their mission, Project MFG created their first Additive Manufacturing Competition. Organized in collaboration with the Austin Center for Manufacturing and Innovation (ACMI), the inaugural event was held on Nov. 29 in Austin, Texas. This endeavor has not only created a new line of competition for the program but also broadened the reach of its mission to help elevate the next generation of highly skilled trade professionals.

“One way Project MFG helps elevate the next generation of highly skilled trade professionals is by challenging how the critical skills needed to succeed in modern advanced manufacturing are taught,” said Bill Ross of Project MFG. “For the past three years we have successfully focused on multiple aspects of machining and welding. Staying true to our mission, Project MFG wanted to further showcase the variety of needs in today’s modern manufacturing. That is where our Additive Manufacturing Competition came into the picture.”

Aligned with their mission, Project MFG also held an outreach event, Project MFG Connect. The event reaches into the community to invite local middle and high schools to learn more about manufacturing. Project MFG Connect featured a career discovery day that included booths from manufacturing industries. Students also had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers Michael Hess, deputy director, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab; Fabian Alefeld, senior manager, EOS North America; and Jill Marsh, senior flight program engineer, X-Bow System. Participating students even had the chance to watch the competition up close and cheer on their favorite teams.

“Including events like Project MFG Connect is imperative for the future. We want to show potential students how challenging and rewarding manufacturing jobs are,” said Ray Dick, Project MFG founder. “Connecting young students from the local community and showcasing the exciting opportunities available right at home is an important part of our mission and one of the ways we promote the prestige of manufacturing.”

The Project MFG Additive Manufacturing Competition featured three local schools: Ball High School of Galveston, Texas; Travis High School Robotics Club of Austin, Texas; and Bryan Career and Technical Education, of Bryan, Texas. Competitors were presented with a storyline problem where they needed to design and create a lifesaving product that would be used to pick up and deliver a fragile payload. Onlookers of local schools, businesses, and visitors cheered for the teams as they presented their created products and put them to the test. Once each team had a chance to showcase their creation, the pieces were scored, and the winning team was announced.

Each competitor of the winning team was awarded a $1,500 scholarship. The winning team for the 2022 Project MFG Additive Manufacturing Competition was the Travis High School Robotics Club from Austin, Texas. The team included Samyog Budha Magar, Sebastian Jaimes, Camron Halls, and Jonathan Montes De Oca. In addition, competitors took home a $250 scholarship, and competing schools took home a $1000 scholarship.

These influential events create a movement that brings together partnerships of employers, educators, and communities to inspire the next generation of highly skilled trade professionals. Project MFG collaborates with these local communities to find ways to elevate and help raise awareness of the need for such professionals in the area. The inaugural Additive Manufacturing Competition was made possible through a collaborative effort with ACMI. The full recap video of the competition can be viewed on all Project MFG social media platforms and by clicking here.

The Travis High School Robotics Club from Austin, Texas. Members include Samyog Budha Magar, Sebastian Jaimes, Camron Halls, and Jonathan Montes De Oca.

About Project MFG Project MFG is a program of the Global Learning Accelerator Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit, funded in part by the Department of Defense, and operated and managed by RD Solutions, LLC. The mission of the Global Learning Accelerator is to develop exciting and innovative learning opportunities that inspire students and participants to explore and pursue their passions for lifelong success.

About ACMI (Austin Center for Manufacturing and Innovation) ACMI is an ecosystem for innovation in the manufacturing sector based in Austin, Texas. The ACMI Group consists of capital, properties and center segments that collectively support a holistic and operationally-oriented approach to help early-stage hardware companies. ACMI’s model incorporates scaling space for manufacturing, growth equity capital, strategic guidance, contract manufacturing relationships and technical and operational advisors to professionalize and prepare companies to scale.

Lauren Davidson
Communications Manager
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