Anna Shcherbinina has been working at Artec 3D for nine years. She started as a remote developer before she joined the Moscow team, which is where most of her current team is located. After five years, she moved to Luxembourg, where the company is headquartered. Anna is responsible for Artec’s web projects, which complement the company’s 3D scanning solutions. With shapify.me, a cloud processing side of a project launched five years ago, her web team has been able to add interesting features such as body measurement and video animation. She also works on less client-facing projects such as my.artec3d.com, which serves as a portal for scanner and software owners.
Anna, could you let us know about your background and your journey to Additive Manufacturing?
I got into IT when I was working as a web developer. I still work with web mostly but many of our projects compliment our hardware services. As Artec is a 3D scanning company and produces 3D scanners, somehow in spite of being responsible for web development, I am involved in some hardware processes as well. I come in with the web part, which complements our scanners. For example, specific individual scanner settings or automatic software updates accessible from the web.
What is Artec 3D and what is the story behind it?
Artec 3D formed in 2007 and since then has become a global leader in handheld and portable 3D scanners. What’s different about us is that we’re super high quality, yet really easy to use. Because of this our scanners have been used around the world in industries ranging from medical to reverse engineering, quality control to artefact conservation.
Can you share about some projects you’ve worked on as the Web Development Team Leader?
Despite being responsible for Web Development and cloud computing and infrastructure, I participated in hardware processes such as licensing of our scanners, and separate projects that work with 3D models of humans, body measurement for research projects.
For example, Shapify, which is a 3D booth for scanning human bodies, and Viewshape, a platform where our clients can upload their 3D models and view them in specific settings, a service connected to Artec Studio software.
Our customer care and support is really interesting too – it’s part of our internal infrastructure, and an unusual sales style of B2B2C where we don’t sell directly, but the clients of our resellers are connected to us. We are working all over the world, that also influences the complexity of our sales process.
To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
Shapify makes me most proud. From my point of view, it’s the only project related to manufacturing and outstanding technology which involves our specific hardware, software and cloud computing and the whole system is functioning as a single project.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman 3D Printing?
Definitely, and I won’t say that it’s the 3D industry, it’s a common problem in Europe for IT. If we’re talking about IT it’s usually dominated by men. Here in Artec, I think we are really different from most companies, because many management and technical roles are held by women.
What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you?
This industry is definitely our future, but it is still evolving. It has started to become widespread yet it is young technology. I expect to see 3D printing as part of everyone’s lives on a big scale.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
I’m excited when my colleagues, who have many 3D printers at home, and they print toys for their kids. The young generation is growing seeing this becomes a normal process. Like, “Ok, Daddy, print this bunny for me please!” That’s amazing.
This is a life and a creative atmosphere I couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago.
What do you consider game-changing technologies in Additive Manufacturing?
In the near future and beyond, we will see technology more related to hardware.
At the very beginning it was hardware linked to software, then it was separated from software, and right now I see this trend of hardware connected to software.
Where do you think the industry will move to in the next 10 years?
I see a trend between hardware in relation to software. Twenty years ago we had desktops and applications, the internet was spreading all over the world, and we had internet access, we had servers, we had services. And most of our devices of software connected to services somehow But right now there’s too much data we can gather from every device. Like, mobile phones, or a lightbulb connected wirelessly. The next reasonable step I see is many smaller devices which have some processing and send only relevant or pre-computer data to the cloud. There is too much noise in data to transfer and I think our nearest future we will be quite closely connected to hardware – more closely connected than we are right now.
What advice do you have for women looking to get started in 3D Printing?
This industry provides so many opportunities, especially for women. Being a women, it doesn’t mean you have less chances. You have more opportunities to shine. Between similarly skilled women and men, at an interview in the tech industry, the HR department is now more interested in women, they’re more curious. Women are always provided the first step to show her skills and abilities.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with Additive Manufacturing?
I like the trend that many companies provide in-house kindergartens, and show support for women who have families and kids. We have seen the shift, in Europe at least, towards equal parenting, but there is still more responsibility on women for the family. More support from the company to its employees for both genders will benefit the number of women who are willing to join this company. .
Favorite 3D tool?
3D printing pens. Super cute!
Favorite moment in your day job?
When I am satisfied with the product I delivered, finishing one chapter and starting another.
What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years?
I would like to have a 3D printer at home as a tool to make my house unique.
Another inspiring woman you’d like us to interview?
Ksenia Cherenkova, who does research in parametric models