SME Logo
You may have heard the phrase: "Every picture tells a story." At SME, we feel that every part, every process and every product tells a story. Stories about innovation. Stories about a small change that made a big difference. Stories about you and me and the people all around us. Working together to make the future better.

We want to hear your story. What’s happening in manufacturing in your world? How has manufacturing made a difference to you? Through stories, we can share the impact of manufacturing to the next generation. And make changes that improve our everyday lives. It all begins with an idea and a story. Help us advance manufacturing because united, we are stronger and together, we can make the future.

The story of how a tiny windpipe is created via additive manufacturing so an infant can live; how graphene technology, originally developed for composites manufacturing, provides clean water to people; and even how innovators and inventors power vehicles with rays of the sun or just a drop of water.

SME's purpose is to advance manufacturing and attract future generations. As part of this purpose, we are beginning a new emphasis on sharing the stories around manufacturing. These are the stories of how manufacturing enhances people's lives and creates strong communities - and how manufacturers like you improve our world through the ideas we create and the things we make.

Do you have a story you'd like to share about how manufacturing made a difference in our world?

Story 1: New Legs in Honduras

From the SME Education Foundation

Brian Copes teaches principles of engineering at an SME Education Foundation PRIME school, Calera High School in Calera, Alabama.

His pre-engineering students know he has only one rule: "I want them to realize there’s a world outside of themselves. And their job is to make the world a better place." And that’s just what they’re doing.


Honduras - Share your storiesLast summer, Copes and 10 of his students travelled to Honduras. For many of them it was their first time leaving the U.S., let alone travelling to a third-world country. Once there, they delivered basic utility vehicles and fit 14 amputees with artificial legs – all crafted out of Toyota Corolla parts. "After the first amputee was fit with a prosthetic, one of my students ran up to me, shouting, ‘It’s a miracle! It’s a miracle!’ That’s when I knew the lesson had been learned," says Copes.

The basic utility vehicles they developed can be shipped and easily assembled in order to provide much needed transportation in underdeveloped countries. There are even accessories such as a plow and a drill which can attach to the vehicle so residents can more easily plant crops and dig wells. In fact, the basic utility vehicle took first place in a collegiate engineering competition in Indianapolis, sponsored by the Institute for Affordable Transportation.

"We have a two-year, long-term plan," says Brian Copes. "My students are now redesigning the basic utility vehicle, since some of the components to the basic utility vehicles are no longer available. Our other projects include refining the design and manufacture of a prosthetic that can be mass-produced, and building a portable hydroelectric station for the Honduran village."