Tatiana Reinhard – “The faster we are, better our chance to survive is”

Proud to be part of the maker movement, Tatiana Reinhard is a jack-at-all-trades : Project Manager and Fabmanager at le FabShop in France, she also provides professional training to businesses going into 3D printing. Co-author of “Design for 3D printing”, translated and distributed overseas by Make, she herself described as a “designerd”. Now prototypist at Rythm, she used her experience to develop the Dreem product, a connected headband improving sleep. 

Tatiana, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?

Surprisingly, at the very beginning, I was a graphic designer. I completed my skills by studying 3D (rather oriented VFX): the handywoman I am used to dreaming of this new 3D technology so I followed the news in France. When I graduated, I discovered a start-up, leFabShop, who was looking for a 5th person to join the team. I tried my luck and the adventure finally lasted more than 3 years, discovering in self-taught the universe of the Makers!

What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?

At leFabShop, we were only 2 employees in Paris and the demand for training from customers was huge: I got to learn fast and all by myself and I think it contributes to make me a good teacher and I loved it. I think the transmission and demystification of knowledge was my first real approach to 3D printing: I am very happy to have concluded this episode by co-writing a book published by Make: “Design for 3D Printing”, a step-by-step manual for apprentice designer sold.

Could you explain furthermore what Rythm is and the products that you are now providing?

Rythm is a start-up which develops Dreem, a pioneering sleep solution that monitors, analyzes, and acts on the brain to enhance the sleep, based on scientific studies done for 15 years. It takes shape in a headband to wear at nights, able to detect and analyze in real-time the EEG and sleep-data, and stimulating the deep-sleep via bone conduction. Other features help people falling asleep or waking up at the perfect moment.

As the prototyper and fabmanager, what does a regular day look like?

My job is to help several teams to develop prototypes or ideas: with the engineers, I created more than 150 different functional homemade headbands to test ergonomic and mechanic properties, and perfectionate the EEG acquisition. My colleagues and I wore new headbands every night before changing parameters and created new ones the following day… We created more than 1000 iterations of the electrode shape in 3D print. Besides, 3D printing allows me to create tools, molds, and lots of clever elements to test electronic and design parts.

Is there a specific relationship between 3D Printing and IoT? Why?

During a product development, each day before the release cost money: the faster we are, better our chance to survive is. Each week is an emergency and having an internal fablab was a gift for the engineers. Without our SLA and FDM machines, it would have been impossible to develop so quickly – in 2 years only – such a complicated device: IoT product needs a lot of electronics adjustments and tests, and molding is too expensive and time-consuming. Thanks to the fablab we multiply the number of tests and iterations: it’s a revolution for start-ups which can now easily afford these technologies and improved their processing.

Do you have any (fun or not) story about the company or your career to share with us?

A ton! My favorite moments were when I was fabmanager at le FabShop: every day I was helping people with personal and creative projects. I was the trainer but I learned a lot about all the different persons I met.
By the way, I have lots of funny stories about the early years when the FabShop team and I were popularizing the 3D printing technology: Sometimes people were asking naive and cute questions, like “How the machine is deposing the air ?”

Have you run into any challenges from being a woman in 3D Printing?

At the first professional shows we did, I was a bit pissed off to see people asking technical questions to my male colleagues. One time, a man discovering 3D printing for the first time couldn’t believe my explanations about FDM : “Young lady, I think you’re wrong”. I had to learn to have twice more self-confidence and attitude to be more considered, not to be assimilated as a hostess.
But the more awkward story might be this one: For a job, I was impressed to have 6 interviews with 7 peoples. I got the job but after that, an embarrassed male colleague explained to me that the company never ask as many appointments: they were not enthusiastic and confident to have a woman for this work so I was put to the test. (But I was the best !)

Anything exciting coming up you’d like us to know about?

I just got a baby! I evolved into a real human 3D printer!

What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?

I’m very fascinated by the medical application and the incredible improvements ensuing: some stories are just totally crazy and I can’t wait to see printers creating all needs perfectly adapted to each patient in the hospital. But I think the community “E-Nable” is one of my favorite initiatives: every 3D printer owner can print a prosthesis to the size and demand of an amputated child. It’s a fantastic illustration of the possibilities of 3D printing in the community.

What do you consider game-changing technologies in Additive Manufacturing?

The fact that now anybody can easily create a new object: the additive technology is easy to learn, to use, and to access. To me, it’s exactly the same story that the democratization of lots of technology, like for example the video camera: today everyone can create a movie, publish it, experiment. Now, it’s the same with objects: a new step to give anybody the key to be a maker, a creator, and follow their dreams.

What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you:

  • in your profession? 

3D printing made me a consultant: I saw lots of companies discovering this technology and I follow them today to see that they did such creative and clever uses of it. The 3D printing world is in constant evolution, and as a trainer or consultant you never stop to discover about this technology: it’s super motivating! No routine!

    • As a woman?

The same as a man I guess, haha.

What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?

On the interviews I read on Women in 3D Printing, lots of fabulous women spoke about their industry and the fantastic projects they have for tomorrow: As a pedagogue, my only wish is to read other incredible stories, more, and more… I really want to see 3D printers in school, even in elementary classes! It’s like the “magic pen” we all dreamt about as children: this magic wand has different uses in the hand of designers, engineers, architects, scientists, roboticists… I can’t wait to see more kids projects, or more people using it as they grew up with it.

In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?

Girls, you’ll work among lots of male makers, go ahead! Haha.
I don’t think women have to be shy: I’m well placed to know that society and people -women included !- associate some professional field with gender… But at the end at le FabShop we were more women than men. Do not perpetuate the a priori, they are only a priori.


Thank you for reading and for sharing! 

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  1. Pingback: January 2018 | Women in 3D Printing

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