IMTS is just a  month away, the preparation and planning for the Smartforce Student Summit is coming together nicely, the final countdown is on and we’re preparing for launch.

In 2014, more than 17,000 students, teachers, administrators and parent chaperones joined us at the Smartforce Student Summit and while we would like to continue to see that number grow, we are even more focused on the quality of the experience of the students who will attend.

We are pleased that so many AMT member companies and other partners have joined us in supporting our overall theme around aerospace. We are particularly excited about the Art-to-Part series of challenges that we’ve developed for students that will allow them to engage their imaginations and experience the entire manufacturing process. The Challenges include:

Design It! Students will use Autodesk Fusion 360 (3D CAD/CAM, and CAE software) to redesign a rocket by adjusting preset design parameters and combining rocket components (a nose cone, body and tailfins) in preparation for a machining challenge. 

Make It! A newly developed 3D printing challenge with our partners and SME, students will design, 3D print and test rocket flight using air power as an accelerant in a specially designed flight-test silo. 

Machine It! Students will redesign the rocket nose cone from Make It! and have the opportunity to machine a nose cone on a Haas ST-10 CNC Lathe.

Measure It! Students will operate a Zeiss Duramax Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), and run the CNC measurement program to review results and determine whether the rocket parts pass or fail inspection.

Automate It! Using sensor technology for automation integration, students will affect actions to open/close machine doors, machine chucks and robotic grippers in the Festo exhibit while they also learn to debug programming commands and learn about the role of automation in Industry 4.0.

Build It! Teams of more experienced mechatronics students will compete in assembling the gantry and major drive components of a WardJet CNC waterjet cutting machine.

Weld It! Students will experience welding using the virtual welding, Lincoln Electric® RealWeld® Trainer.

For students who are in technical schools, community colleges and engineering schools and who are nearing workforce readiness, we’ll hold our first-ever career fair at the student summit, the Smartforce Career Launch Pad. AMT members, who are interested in having their HR recruiters join the Career Launch Pad, please contact Greg Jones at

For more information about Smartforce Development and the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS, follow @GregoryAJones on Twitter.