Manufacturing Challenge and Exposition

Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 9:00am to 5:00pm

Goodwill Industries 3150 N. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065

Originally established by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) over thirty years ago, the Manufacturing Challenge is a creative collegiate level competition where the students choose their own project and then design, manufacture and document the projects for display and evaluation. These projects may be student club projects, class projects, senior projects or funded projects. 

Beginning in 2016, the SMI added a high school competition using parts that are manufactured in accordance with NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills) blueprints with their own set of rules to compete. 

This competition is sponsored by the Small Manufacturers' Institute. The NTMA Training Center in Santa Fe Springs, California has graciously agreed to host the event. 

Any type of engineering principle, concept, or process utilizing any kind of material may be applied in designing the product and manufacturing system. Any conventional or automated manufacturing process, including those utilizing computers, programmable controllers, robotics, vision systems, material handling systems, or any other manufacturing process may be used individually or in any combination.

The Challenge...



Community Colleges, Two Year Technical Schools and public or private schools providing instruction at the associate degree/certificate level.


Universities, Senior Colleges and public or private schools offering programs at or beyond the baccalaureate level.


High Schools or home schooled individuals under 18 years old.



A $1,000 Grand Prize will be awarded to the overall "Best of Show" project selected by the contest's judging teams from the contest's two divisions.


A $500 cash prize will be awarded for first place, $300 for second place and $200 for third place in each of the contest's two divisions.


A $300 cash prize will be awarded to the first place high school, $200 for second place, and $100 for third place.


A $500 cash prize will be presented to the student winning the prestigious William B. Johnson "Leadership in Manufacturing" award.


The entries may consist of static displays, working models or systems, or any combination of these.

1) A maximum of three projects may be entered from any one school.

2) A $50 registration fee is required for each entry and each entry will be assigned its own booth.  Fees must be paid prior to March 31, 2017 on this website.

3) The registration form and abstract must be submitted electronically by March 31, 2017.

4) All team members must be currently enrolled in their sponsoring school.

5) The timeline for developing the project is from April 17, 2016 through April 22, 2017.  If the project was started earlier than April 17, 2016, then only that part of the project completed during the April 17, 2016 through April 22, 2017 time period is eligible for consideration and must be so identified for the judges.

6) If the project has been entered in a previous contest or will be entered in a later contest, this information must be made clear to the judges.

7) A 10' x 10' booth floor space will be provided for each school's entry.  Each booth will include one (1) table (2 tables if requested) and two (2) chairs.  Please bring a 25-foot extension cord and power strip for access to a 110V outlet.  A school identification sign will be furnished to each project entry displaying the name of the school as shown on the school's registration form.  Air compressors are not permitted in the booths.

Travel Funds

Teams traveling a distance of over 100 miles one way will be eligible for travel/lodging funds if available.  This could be as high as $1,000/team, depending upon the distance traveled and the number of team members.  Schools not meeting the registration deadline may lose their eligibility for travel funds.

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