WorldSkills UK Regional Finals: CREATING the Future of Additive Manufacturing 

Over the month, CREATE Education and 3DGBIRE have been touring the country, hosting the first WorldSkills UK Additive Manufacturing Competition Regional Finals, and we are pleased to say they’ve been a huge success! 

WorldSkills UK is an independent charity that works with employers and the government to build stronger links between them and education. Using best practice, they aim to raise standards in apprenticeships and technical education for young people. As part of their aim, they run competitions for Post-16 students in specialised vocational areas, such as Automotive, Hairdressing, and Robotics. 

This is the first year of the WorldSkills UK Additive Manufacturing competition, developed in partnership with 3DGBIRE and CREATE Education and sponsored by UltiMaker and Shining 3D. 

Over two weeks, we welcomed 32 students, from over ten colleges and universities to three venues all over the UK, alongside their tutors. 

The three venues that hosted the WorldSkills UK Additive Manufacturing Regional Finals were

We secured these venues through our relationships with tutors and CREATE Ambassadors and we are incredibly grateful for their hospitality and support. 

Over the course of the day, students were set a number of tasks. They started the day with a task that mirrored a real-life situation. They were given a part from a production line that the engineering manager needed help to get hold of; given images of the bracket, the students had to manually measure and reverse engineer the bracket, using Vernier/Dial/Digital callipers and a Steel rule. Once their pieces had been reverse-engineered in Autodesk Fusion 360 and sliced using UltiMaker CURA, students printed their parts on the UltiMaker S line printers provided by the venues. 

In the afternoon, students were asked to reverse engineer a component provided by a customer that they could no longer obtain from the spares supplier. They were provided with a scanned .stl file of the watertight part that has been aligned to the X, Y, and Z planes. Their job was to recreate the scanned part in Autodesk Fusion 360. 

Steve Taylor, 3DGBIRE employee, CREATE Education Ambassador, and creator of the Additive Manufacturing competition, said, “I couldn’t have been more pleased with how the Regional Finals have run! 

The hosts at the three venues have been so welcoming, and the organisation at Cheshire College, the University of Sheffield, and Imperial College has been spot on! The hosts have gone above and beyond for us! Thank you. 

The student’s talents have shone through, and they have coped well with some challenging tasks under competition pressures! It’s been great to see the future of Additive Manufacturing in action! I want to say a huge thank you to all of the tutors, too, for their support and guidance! Without them, the young people would not have been able to shine as brightly as they did on the day!” 

When we asked for feedback from the participants and their tutors, we had an overwhelmingly positive response! 

“[It’s been] amazing. I have, since the first round, spoken a lot to my teachers in school about how well organised the event was and how easy it was to navigate. The virtual communications in the run-up to the event were also perfect – I didn’t doubt anything going into it, as I knew fully what to expect! The facilities for this year’s first round in Cheshire College were excellent too! The tasks set were challenging but not too out of the ordinary! I knew exactly how to tackle both of the tasks however, they were still a challenge to complete to full accuracy. I enjoyed the process of both and I feel as though the tasks were very well thought out and were of the correct difficulty – for me anyway.” 

Mika Miro Kazassoglou, The Studio School Liverpool

Steve now has the unenviable task of marking all of the competition entries, getting the numbers from 32 to 8!

The 8 lucky finalists will compete at Salford University in November to be crowned the first WorldSkills UK Additive Manufacturing champion!

Good luck to them all!