POCAHONTAS — Black River Technical College Machine Tool and Technology students traveled to the Arkansas SkillsUSA Skill and Leadership Conference in Hot Springs recently to accept medals for competitions won earlier in the month.
MTT students Jonathan Moody and Jakob Barnhill received a gold medal and a full tuition scholarship to the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton for their first-place win at the BRTC Arkansas SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition. The pair were also presented with an Ender 3D Printer at BRTC.
Career and Technical Center students Piggott High School junior Aaron Mauldin and Pocahontas High School senior Hank DuBois were also presented with an Ender 3D printer for their win at the BRTC Arkansas SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition.
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, embraces a wide range of materials and derivative processes to build parts suitable for end-use service. The virtually unlimited design freedom enabled by additive manufacturing allows the creation of shapes and the integration of feature and function that previously required sub-assemblies.
Employment opportunities for design engineers are growing as the industry adopts additive manufacturing methods and applies the practice to various parts of their business from prototyping to end use parts, according to skillsusa.org.
The 3D printers awarded to the winning students were provided through donations from Southern Cast Products, Jonesboro Tool & Die, and Erosion Technologies Inc.
MTT student Colton Vallance also took home a silver medal for placing second in the Arkansas SkillsUSA CNC Lathe CADCAM competition held at the Philips Corp. headquarters in Little Rock recently.
The CNC competition evaluates each competitor’s ability to independently plan and program jobs for 5-Axis CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machines and provide instructions for operators to execute. Competitors program part features and generate NC code using CAM software, troubleshoot G-code programming errors, interpret prints (including geometric dimensioning and tolerancing or GD&T), measure/gauge parts, and demonstrate their theoretical knowledge of 5-Axis CNC milling machine configuration, setup and operation, according to skillsusa.org.
The BRTC Machine Tool Technology program consists of a wide variety of machining. Machinists and toolmakers design and create prototypes, fixtures, jigs, and tooling/dies from which most metal and other manufactured items are made, which includes large heavy machinery to small hand tools.
Working in a modern, fully-equipped machine shop, students in the machine tool technology program gain the knowledge and skills needed to cut, machine, and mill/turn metals and 3D print polymers/carbon/onyx regarding NIMS assigned projects.
This high-precision trade requires development of high demand skills in the use of hand tools, precision measuring instruments, testing equipment, and basic, automatic, and computer-numerically-controlled machine tools and programming. The program also covers heat treating tool steel and alloying material, as well as accident prevention, leadership, and quality control.
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