Wild and Crazy Parts Competition Targets Students

Mastercam hosts annual competition to encourage secondary and post-secondary students to demonstrate creativity and technical skills in parts design.

Mastercam hosts annual competition to encourage secondary and post-secondary students to demonstrate creativity and technical skills in parts design.

First place in the Wildest Parts competition went to a domino and dice cup game set by Wes Bruski of Capital High School. Image Courtesy of Mastercam

What do a domino and cup game set, a padlock, and an Iron Man head metal sculpture have in common? They are among the top-prize winners of Mastercam’s annual Wildest Parts Competition, an event aimed at cultivating student interest in manufacturing and design.

The competition, open to students at the secondary and post-secondary levels, tasks participants to flex their creativity and design muscle to come up with innovative parts leveraging the key capabilities of the Mastercam suite of CAD and CAM software. While a single design competition can’t close the on-going talent gap, it does create an opportunity for students and their instructors to get inspired in the classroom and motivates them to expand their CAD/CAM abilities through the thrill of competition, says Clint Smith, Mastercam’s senior education market specialist.

“We offer all students a fully functional version of Mastercam to become more familiar with CAM,” Smith says. “We strive to do our part at helping to attract more students to manufacturing careers while at the same time, highlighting the top students in the world that are using Mastercam with great success.”

Mastercam created the Wildest Parts competition to the hopes of showcasing and capturing the incredible and collective imagination that users have when it comes to parts design. Given the broad age span of participants, the contest is intended to highlight users of varying ages from around the world. “We are not necessarily looking for the most complex part—we are looking for originality and quality,” Smith says. “We encourage all participants to let their imaginations run `wild.’”

Run wild, they do. In the Secondary Division, a domino and dice cup game set created by Wes Bruski of Capital High School in Montana took top prize. Wes, from a family of game-players, made the prototype out of wood and then machined the final set. Second place went to Cadogan Wheat from Hamilton High School, also in Montana, who designed and output a model of a padlock.

The metal bust of Iron Man’s head hailed from the Professional Division. Andy Beach of Grand Rapids Community College test drove the schools new UMC 500 Haas Mill 5-axis machine to make the bust, which he said pushed the size constraints of the machine and had over 100 machined pieces.

Beach’s entry, in addition to others in the professional category, showed off the robustness of multiaxis machining. “All the winning parts for the Post-Secondary Division were assemblies consisting of multiple machined parts rather than just one individual part,” says Peter Mancini, education product manager at Mastercam. 

Watch this video to learn more about the Wildest Parts competition.

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Beth Stackpole's avatar
Beth Stackpole

Beth Stackpole is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to [email protected].

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