Now This is Wild

When you think of “wild” things, think about Buffalo, NY, that great American city up near Niagara Falls. There’s that wild weather, with many feet of snow each winter. And don’t forget those delicious Buffalo wild wings, spiced up to bring tears to your eyes. Now, for those of you into CAD/CAM (and who isn’t), consider the accomplishments of the students at Buffalo’s Erie Community College (ECC) and their Industrial Technology Department. For several years, they have been taking many of the top spots in the collegiate-level category of Mastercam’s annual Wildest Part competition.

The very first year they entered the competition, in 2009, they took first place with a Buell air filter and stand. ECC followed this up the next year with first and third place wins. Last year, they swept the competition with first, second, and third place awards. This year, they captured second and third place. This is no small feat, considering that Mastercam has been holding their Wildest Part competition for the past two decades and that it is open to students in the thousands of high schools, technical institutions, and colleges nationwide.

One explanation for this phenomenon is the planning attributed to department director Nathan Witkowski when he was setting up their CNC Precision Machining Certificate Program. He read about Mastercam’s Wildest Parts, and patterned his curriculum after the rules and regulations of the competition. Their winning wild parts runs the gamut from an accurately-running geared clock, to a BMX bike pedal, to a full-scale human head cut out of aluminum stock.

For more information on the Wildest Parts Competition, please visit:

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