Mfg. Day 2020: Ushering in the Future of Digital Manufacturing

Posted On October 8, 2020 By Protolabs

Manufacturing Day was on Oct. 2 this year, and even though we went completely virtual, the event was a blast. We hosted more than 100 students, educators, engineers, and manufacturing professionals across industries, taking them first on a digital tour through our different manufacturing facilities, followed by an interactive Q&A with engineering and HR representatives from Protolabs who fielded questions that ranged from career options to manufacturing technologies. In total, 90 minutes of complete manufacturing immersion—what else could you ask for on Manufacturing Day?

The session closed with some lessons from our team that we want to highlight. Here’s what they said:

Kevin Nyenhuis/Talent Acquisition Manager, Human Resources

I encourage everybody to really look at your options. If you’re in high school, four-year college is great but don’t discount a two-year or industrial tech program. More employers are moving away from what degree you have, and more about what you can do. So, I just encourage you to keep your options open, there’s pathways to get to where you want to go that can involve getting to work faster, if you want. Then, I would focus on experience. If you are in a four-year program, internships are invaluable to your career and securing your first good job out of college. Protolabs, for example, pays its interns well, and I think a lot of other organizations do, too.

Joe Cretella/Applications Engineer Supervisor, Additive Manufacturing (3D printing):

One of the things that really benefited me early on in my career was the experience from internships, and it was trying to look at different types of internships to see if I would like this industry or that industry. So I learned very early on that, “yeah, maybe I do enjoy manufacturing but I don’t necessarily want to be in certain aspects of it.” It helped me understand where I want to go in my career, how I want to develop that, and how I can apply that in my studies.

Gus Breiland/Sr. Technical Sales Engineer

I would encourage you to break stuff, to make stuff, and look at how other things relate to your passion. For example, making a waffle is manufacturing—you are molding using a base material, you’re cooking that material, and you’re producing an end part for your customer. So as you can formulate and understand how all of the things are necessary to make stuff, the better off you’re going to be when collaborating, when learning, when being curious.


Miss out on Manufacturing Day 2020? No worries.

We produced an on-demand version that captured all of it, including a digital tour of our manufacturing facilities, and an interactive Q&A session with engineering and HR representatives from Protolabs.

Check it all out right here.