All You Need To Know About The Digital Manufacturing Challenge 2021

14 Oct 2020
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All You Need To Know About The Digital Manufacturing Challenge 2021

The Digital Manufacturing Challenge 2021

As one of the foremost 3D printing companies in London, at London 3D Printing we are looking forward with anticipation to the Digital Manufacturing Challenge 2021 which is being organised by the organisation SME, with headquarters in Southfield , Michigan, in the US.

SME says that the 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 (as Covid-19) and envision an optimistic view of healthy, robust, sustainable, smart, agile, peaceful communities”.

Covid-19 brought with it a plethora of public health challenges and economic issues on a scale not experienced in our lifetimes. Businesses similar to our own in 3D printing and additive manufacturing were required to produce inventory over a very short timescale ranging from the production of PPE to sophisticated equipment such as respirators and ventilators.

Digital manufacturing has a range of tools that are varied and powerful and can transform the world with engineering and data solutions that meet the needs of the many and the few, and very often at short notice.

The capabilities and possibilities of 3D printing and digital manufacturing are many, and can produce simpler designs and integrated features and functions while at the same time often reducing the size, part count, and weight of products, and using less materials, so resulting in significantly reduced manufacturing costs.

The Digital Manufacturing Challenge is designed to encourage student designers and engineers to think outside the box and go beyond the classroom or laboratory and display both their creative and technical abilities by showing how 3D printing and digital manufacturing can add value in new and creative ways.

Digital manufacturing includes both additive and subtractive processes using a huge range of materials to produce many different prototypes, 3D models, mock-ups, tooling, assemblies, and systems/subsystems, as well as end-use parts. Leveraging digital manufacturing tools such as those we use at London 3D Printing and including Design for Manufacturing and Design for Additive Manufacturing enables the production of optimal working parts of form, fit, and function as never before.

Student designers and engineers can enter the Digital Manufacturing Challenge 2021 whether they are high school students or at college/university. The two categories will be judged separately based on a set of criteria that can be obtained on the SME website ( Entrants can enter as individuals or as teams.

Prizes will be awarded as follows

First Prize – One university winner and one high school winner
The designer of the entry judged to be the best example of how digital manufacturing can be most efficiently and effectively exploited will receive:

  • A complimentary conference pass to RAPID + TCT event
  • A stipend of $1,000 to use for travel to, and lodging at, the conference.
  • A certificate of achievement
  • A complimentary, one-year SME student membership
  • A recognition letter sent to the winner with a copy sent to the advisor/educator
  • A recognition letter sent to a student newspaper/technical publication designated by the winner

The university-level winner (undergraduate or graduate):

  • Is expected to attend the RAPID 2021 award ceremony
  • Will have the opportunity to publish their work in a feature article of Manufacturing Engineering
  • Will have the opportunity to present their work to industry via an SME-organized webinar

Any questions that students have regarding the competition can be answered by emailing which is where final submissions should be sent also.

As one of the leading 3D printing companies in London we believe that this competition can help student engineers and designers to develop their creativity and demonstrate their own abilities and inventiveness. We will be following the competition closely and with interest.

Of course, we are always pleased to hear direct from anyone – student or not – who has ideas for the development of 3D printing processes that we can incorporate into our systems and use for our mutual benefit. We are always keen to keep one step ahead of the latest developments and technology, so feel free to contact us with your ideas at any time.

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