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Bright Minds Mentor Program

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Members of SME's Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community have developed an annual mentoring program, which takes place during RAPID. Each year, members of the Education & Information Exchange Tech Group customize a program specifically for the local participating schools. This program is aimed at creating future rapid technology professionals and buyers.

The goal is to create interest, excitement and an appreciation for product development methods, rapid technologies and applications among high school students. Fifty (50) students are paired with industry professional mentors who guide them through the conference and exposition hall. Students are allocated a portion of time to pair off with each other to experience the sessions and exhibits without the mentors. To enhance their participation, students are provided industry-related materials, parts and scholarship information. Students are encouraged to share what they have learned with their fellow students and teachers.

Schools interested in participating in this program, please email


Bright Minds Students


Objectives of the Program
  • Bright Minds Logo (10-01-13)To introduce students to the rapid prototyping, tooling and additive manufacturing industries as a prospective career pursuit.
  • To provide a basic, high-level overview of advanced design and manufacturing technologies, materials, processes and applications.
  • To allow students to learn about how and why the technology is used along with examples of interesting applications.
  • To provide students the opportunity to ask questions and interact with an industry mentor while allowing them to attend RAPID.
  • To encourage and inspire students to share what they have learned with fellow classmates and teachers.
  • Have fun!
What Students Will Experience
  • What are rapid technologies and additive manufacturing?
    • How and why is it used? (Simple parts versus complex, big versus small).
    • What are examples of how it is used to develop products and other unique applications?
    • What are some of the major machine types and materials used?
    • What is the difference between additive versus subtractive manufacturing?
    • What is the difference between equipment OEMs and service bureaus?
    • What types of R&D are under way and what does the future hold?
  • How companies use rapid technologies and additive manufacturing in a variety of different industries for unique applications:
    • General product design & development.
    • Consumer products such as cell phones, computers and sports equipment.
    • Automotive and aerospace.
    • Medical and dental.
    • Jewelry and art.
    • Emerging applications such as a architectural modeling and miniature devices.
Student Benefits
  • Gain hands-on experience with product development models and the processes for making physical prototypes.
  • Obtain a basic understanding of the industry.
  • Hear about career options.
  • Realize a different view of manufacturing: It's not all smoke stacks and loud machinery.
  • Become excited to see rapid technologies and development as an option.
  • Focus on product development (using software to develop the concept and then building the prototype).
  • Understand what engineers can do.
  • See how rapid technologies impact many different areas.
  • Learn how things you use every day were developed and built.
  • Manufacturing technology can be fun and cool!
Benefits to Mentors
  • Share your knowledge.
  • Impact the future of the technology.
  • Have an influence on one or two future users/buyers.
  • Demonstrate your industry leadership.