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HOUSTEX 3D Printing Student Competition

HOUSTEX is among major manufacturing events where advanced technologies are exhibited. This bi-annual exhibition has been well-attended by industry and academic institutions in the Southwest region. During the upcoming HOUSTEX event, SME will sponsor an exciting competition among students. This competition encourages students to be familiar with engineering design and ideation by:

  • Creation of 3D concepts, innovative ideas applied to products that reduce energy and waste
  • Recycling wasted products to conserve resources
  • Understanding additive manufacturing processes and limitations
  • Being energy conscious
  • Enhancing manufacturing knowledge with guided tour at the HOUSTEX exhibition

Deadline: January 15, 2019


Student teams from schools or inter-schools at all levels – private or public, domestic or international – are eligible to participate.

  • High schools
  • Community colleges, vocational institutions
  • Universities

Each school or collaborating schools can send 1 or 2 teams, with at most 5 students per team.


Design and manufacture a phone stand by adding layers in sequence using wasted organic materials (examples: coffee powder, tea leaves, bean shells…) and an appropriate “glue.”

  • The stand is for a specific and commercially available phone model and needs not be universally used for all models.
  • Although components can be manufactured using a combination of manufacturing techniques, additive manufacturing must be at least 50% of all processes.
  • The final product must demonstrate how energy saving was considered during the design stage.


  • A competing design must be innovative, free from commercialization, and cannot duplicate existing products.
  • A design model must fit inside an imaginary 4x4x4 inch box.
  • A competing team will display a prototype and present the design/process with a 36x48 inch tri-fold poster board. Although not required, an on-site process demonstration will receive bonus points.
  • A team may include any post-printing process to enhance quality/functionality of the prototype. Each team will have a table (4x6 ft) and 15 minutes to complete the presentation. Common electricity sources (110 v, 50 Hz) will be available, but a team must bring own extension cord and power strip.
  • No flammable or toxic chemical/substance is allowed.

Judging Criteria

The judges are active employees from high school, community college, university, and industry. There will be no conflict of interest from the judging members.

# Maximum points Criteria
1 50 Presentation of design/process (15 minutes)
2 20 Design innovation
3 20 Quality of prototype and poster
4 10 Teamwork
5 15 (bonus) On-site process demonstration



Date Event
January 15, 2019 Application deadline
February 26, 2019 Competition held in the morning, with awards recognition following in the afternoon



1) First prize: $500 + 3D printer + plaque
2) Second prize: 3D printer + plaque
3) Third prize: $200 + plaque
4) Most creative: $200 + plaque
5) Youngest team: $200 + plaque


In addition, all participating team members will receive one-year SME student memberships.


  • No entrance fee for team members and advising teachers.
  • SME may subsidize transportation to teams whose based schools are more than 300 miles away from Houston, Texas. Overseas schools are not eligible for transportation support. Contact Suzy Marzano for more information.
  • Depending on the design and project nature, printing of a prototype can be arranged directly with local industry without charge. Contact Suzy Marzano for more information.