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LIFT's Robotic Blacksmithing Contest Forges Ahead

Aug. 8, 2016
The intent is to familiarize students with cutting-edge lightweighting technology and hopefully spur their interest in a manufacturing career.

Old (blacksmithing) meets new (robotics) in a competition that asks students to create simple objects like horseshoes, goblets and trusses using robotic tools in innovative ways.

Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow (LIFT), and the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence at Ohio State University are sponsoring the Robotic Blacksmithing Competition for high school and college students.

The competition, which includes a series of tasks of increasing difficulty, begins this fall and runs through the end of the 2016-17 school year.

The first and simplest competition will use clay. Later phases will use soft and hardened metals.

The intent is to familiarize students with cutting-edge lightweighting technology and hopefully spur their interest in a manufacturing career, according to Emily Stover DeRocco, director of education and workforce development at LIFT.

Because robotic blacksmithing is a new manufacturing process without specific defined system requirements, the competition is “open,” meaning only the materials used and desired output are defined, not the process used to achieve it.

Student teams can begin registering for the competition in August 2016 and work through March 2017. The competition, with awards totaling $50,000, is open to students in high school, community college, career and technical college, and four-year colleges and universities. Judging, by industry experts, teachers and other leaders, will be done in April 2017, with winning teams announced by the end April.

LIFT encourages local manufacturers to both sponsor and mentor teams in their communities.

For more information, visit

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