SME’s 2021 Digital Manufacturing Challenge Now Open

By on September 5th, 2020 in Event

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SME’s 2021 Digital Manufacturing Challenge Now Open
Essential workers as defined by the CISA [Source: CISA]

SME is sponsoring a major design challenge for students.

The event is welcoming students from either college/university or high school, and will award two prizes, one for the best project proposed by university entrants, and the other for high school entrants.

What exactly is the goal of the contest? SME is interested in finding great designs to assist with the ongoing pandemic. It seems they were triggered to this topic due to the countless COVID-19-related products that popped up in the initial stages of the crisis. They say:

“The imperatives of exponential growth exhibited by the coronavirus pandemic challenge us to think beyond reactive and proactive to execute predictively by employing system-level tools such as big data and infrastructure modeling to anticipate and coordinate in real time with and among all involved and affected communities.

Given the lessons continuing to be learned, the 2021 Digital Manufacturing Challenge is a call for action to inspire the next generation of engineers to re-think ways to design, create, and utilize infrastructure-level systems that deploy engineering design and manufacturing solutions to strengthen infrastructure in the response, mitigation and/or prevention of such disruptive and devastating events and envision an optimistic view of healthy, robust, sustainable, smart, agile, peaceful communities.”


“Students are asked to consider the many aspects of digital manufacturing and how they may also enhance sustainability and security while preserving health, wellbeing, and even the joy of living through applications combining additive and subtractive manufacturing.

Concepts like real-time exchanges to facilitate identification, mobilization, and integration of engineering, design, verification, material, manufacturing, assembly, testing, validation, packaging, and shipping resources across the value chain are proposed to accelerate end-to-end delivery of solutions when and where needed. Because speed is vital, engineering is challenged to define design(s), performance requirements, and bills of material utilizing available ‘off the shelf’ components where possible.”

It’s expected that most, if not all, entries will be teams of people using design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) techniques. SME is looking for highly creative solutions, and have an extensive list of judging criteria.

There is no cost to enter, but entries must be received by March 8, 2021. The winners will be provided with the means to attend the RAPID + TCT event in 2021, as well as achievement certificates and a recognition letter.

If you’re a student or know one, this might be the time to get some heads together and brainstorm an imaginative design that just might change the world, a little bit.


By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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