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

I got started in 3D printing in college. I was a mechanical engineering major at Penn State, and during my time there, I worked in a lab researching material properties of various metals produced by additive manufacturing.

What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?

My first experience with 3D printing was in college. I took a class in which our first project was to 3D print a toy car. I thought it was a fun challenge to rethink traditional structures with the freedom 3D printing creates.

You are an Additive Manufacturing Engineer at Arconic. Could you tell us a bit more about your area of expertise?

I specialize in the manufacturing of metal alloys for a variety of industrial applications.

You are also Women in 3D Printing’s Austin, Texas’s ambassador. What can you tell us about Austin’s community? What makes it unique?

Austin is a great area to be in because of the incredible resources we have available. There are tons of people to connect with, and a great market for 3D printing.

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

There is an inherent challenge to working in a male-dominated field. It can sometimes be a bit isolating when there aren’t a lot of women to connect with. It’s important to be confident in your ideas and to speak up whenever you can.

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

The most impressive use of 3D printing I’ve seen so far is in medical implants and prosthetics. It’s incredible that fully customized parts can be created by 3D printing and used as an extension of the human body.

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

I think the most game-changing technology right now is in-situ monitoring of builds. Utilizing sensors to monitor the atmosphere and deposition of material will enable us to predict the quality of parts as they come off a machine.

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

  • As an engineer?

The 3D printing industry is an amazing industry for an engineer to get experience in because it is new and emerging. There is a lot to learn, and a lot of innovation in this field, so there is a lot of opportunities for you to make your mark.

  • As a woman?

Similarly, there is a lot to be accomplished in this field, so it is exciting to see a manufacturing field where women get in on the ground floor and pave the way for the gap of women in STEM to be closed.

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

The 3D printing industry today is young. There are many start-ups and newer companies creating technologies to be used in 3D printing. I would like to see us continue to investigate the technologies at our disposal to establish a good understanding of all that can be done with 3D printing. There is a lot to be gained in using 3D printing in manufacturing, so I would like to see a trust developed in the technology rivaling traditional manufacturing methods.

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

I think we can encourage more women to become involved with 3D printing by showing the diversity of its application. By showcasing a large variety of industries utilizing 3D printing, there is an opportunity to draw women from many different backgrounds and industries.

Favorite 3D tool (could be a software, machine, material…you name it)?  FDM printers!

Favorite moment in your day job? Playing with models for printability

What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years?  Innovation in build strategy to reduce support requirements


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Nora is a 3D Printing expert since 2010, particularly skilled at building strategic alliances and strong business relationships.
Named among the 20 most influential women in Additive Manufacturing every year since 2015, Nora also received the Certificate of Honor in Manufacturing by the City of San Francisco in 2017 for her work with Women in 3D Printing, and was awarded Community Advocate of the year 2018 by her peers.

She started her career in Additive Manufacturing in 2010 by joining 3D Printing service leader, Sculpteo.

Nora joined Ivaldi Group in 2018. Ivaldi Group leverages cutting-edge additive manufacturing solutions to provide on-site parts on demand services for various industries. Drawing on a breadth of additive manufacturing industry experience, Ivaldi Group works across a range of stakeholders to digitize product portfolios and improve cost, risk and delivery for all parties, providing a Part Replacement as a Service solution.
As the VP of Strategy, Nora works closely with the CEO to build and implement the company's strategies in various segments: from core business value to customer relationship and parts production and delivery.

Nora founded Women in 3D Printing in 2014 to promote women leaders in the Additive Manufacturing industry. She also co-initiated and co-organizes #3DTalk, an industry-specific and educational event series featuring women in the 3D Printing and related industries. #3DTalks are global events hosted in various cities across the USA and Europe.

Pursuing her vision for more social inclusion, she joined 3D Africa as Board Advisor. 3D Africa is a youth and women economic empowerment program developed by the Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), a nonprofit organization with years of experience combining education, technology, and economic development to transform economically challenged populations into self-sustainable communities. 3D Africa is part of the YTF’s Clinton Global Initiative 2016 Commitment to Action.

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