Carrie Motamedi is an evangelist for STEAM education and women in technology and business. She has a 15+ years experience in technology marketing and communication. She currently is on the Leadership Council for WorldWideWomen Girls’ Festival taking place October 15, 2016 at Fort Mason in San Francisco; A member of Alternatives in Action 20th Anniversary Committee, and Publicist for “A Revolution in Four Seasons” premiering in the US at the Margaret Mead Festival in New York on October 13, 2016.
Her previous experiences include TechShop, global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and Sun Microsystems.
Carrie, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
I was VP of Marketing and on the executive management team for TechShop, which is an open-access, DIY workshop and fabrication studio where entrepreneurs, artists, makers, teachers, and students come together to learn and work together. 3D printing is one of the technologies offered to the community there. I managed several partner programs with companies like Autodesk and GE who provided additional resources, programs, and training in the 3D printing/Advanced manufacturing. We also had members who prototyped a first generation, consumer 3D printer at the shop – those members went on to form the startup Type A Machines.
Could you detail your first experience with 3D Printing?
My first experience with 3D printing was when we brought MakerBot printers into the shop for the 3D printing classes at TechShop. It was amazing to see how excited the community was about the technology and there were members doing things with it right away like Chris McCoy who has become part of You3Dit (An interview of Lori Chen, co-founder of You3Dit is upcoming).
Was it challenging to position TechShop as the “Gym for makers”?
When I started in 2010, the “Maker Movement” was still a new concept in the mainstream but as soon as anyone would walk into the shop or attend an event like Maker Faire and saw the possibilities, people understood how empowering the learning experience and supportive community could be. As we told the stories of people who took one class and ended up launching businesses the concept resonated with a broader audience.
Did you experience any specific challenges from being a woman in a Tech & Maker industry?
There is always a challenge when a group is underrepresented in a field. But challenges do allow for unique and bold opportunities. Most people want to have a diversity of perspective – especially in the design world where it is essential to get feedback from your various users. I worked with Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners (@BayAreaGGD) to put on a couple events where women could come in and learn about new technologies like 3D printing. Its all about access and exposure and there has been a lot of support for events like this from Autodesk, Indiegogo and Maker Media. I’m staying focused on bringing more women into the fold, spending my time now working with organizations like WorldwideWomen (@worldwidewomen4), Bay Area Women Leader’s Network, and Urban Solutions to make sure women in tech are represented and supported.
Do you have any (fun or not) story about the company to share with us?
One of the highlights of my time with TechShop was when President Obama visited the Pittsburgh location and allowed us to recommend members for the first White House Maker Faire. Having a female entrepreneur like Jane Chen of embrace there representing the Maker Movement and its impact was beyond gratifying.
As you mentioned above, you are part of WorldWideWomen and are working on curating 3D Printing into the Girls’ Festival. Could you let us know what WorldWideWomen is and why joining this organization was important for you?
WorldWideWomen is a global network for women and girls which provides resources in every aspect from health, education, finance and career. The idea is that is can be a central place for women and girls to discover, connect and be inspired. I wanted to be part of it because all of the women involved are real doers, committed to supporting women across disciplines around the world. It was important to me to represent women in tech and support anything that advances diversity and education on all levels.
And what is the Girls’ Festival?
The Girls’ Festival is the first annual event (happening October 15 at Fort Mason – RSVP for your free ticket here – don’t forget to mention Women in 3D Printing as the partner organization) where thousands of girls in the Bay Area can experience over 100 activities — 50 exhibitors; 17 workshops; seven hours of amazing speakers, performances and special events on our Main stage; and a very fun outdoor sports and activity arena. The goal is to make this a reoccurring event and launch in more locations in the future. The categories are parallel to those on the WorldWideWomen themes and we intend to connect these events with groups around the globe.
Why curating 3D Printing into the Festival?
I was asked to curate the maker’s space section because of my background and my passion for STEAM education. Working with fashion designer Cari Borja (@cari_borja) we wanted to ensure that the activities and demos in this creative space of possibilities would be engaging, interactive, and inspiring. 3D printing is all of those things!
Anything exciting coming up you’d like us to know about?
Everything at the Girls’ Festival will be exciting but specifically in 3D printing alone there is a lot that will be set up in the MY POSSIBILITIES section:
- Barbara Hanna will demo the technology she developed with Cyant
- The TechShop Inside trailer will be inside the space with 3D printer, laser cutters and more
- Autodesk and GE who are sponsors of the event will be onsite
- There will also be a special installation built on-site (led by June Grant of blink!Lab @blinklab) over the course of the event where attendees can take part in creating an amazing piece to commemorate the day. I can’t’ reveal all but 3D printing will be part of it.
What was the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
The most impactful work I have seen is along the lines of what people like Dara Dotz (Field Ready) are doing with disaster recovery and on-demand manufacturing. The work Dara’s doing is changing communities’ ability to adapt, react and produce life changing results. I invited Dara to be part of my SXSW panel the past two years to tell her compelling story about the project she led with Field Ready when they brought 3D printers to Haiti to teach locals how to make needed medical supplies and replacement parts for rural clinics.
What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you:
- As a business person?
As a business person, I love that 3D printing is a disruptor across industries. From food to medical, we are seeing rapid innovations.
- As a woman?
As a woman, I love that 3D printing can add an element of thoughtful and engaging design to everything. Things like prosthetics no longer have to be strictly utilitarian but can be beautifully customized and have an impact that is deeply personal. (Check out this cool tinkercad cyborg project). I also happen to know a lot of badass women in the 3D printing world, so I’m confident they will continue to lead the charge and make a lasting impact on how we problem solve and use new technology with a purpose to innovate.
What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?
3D printing, with all it has already accomplished, is still in the early stages so there is so much potential which is very exciting. I want to see it continue to evolve so it is truly accessible to everyone and can break down even more barriers. I think it can play a huge role in what @NaviRadjou refers to as Frugal Innovation and doing more, with less and better. Also, I definitely want to hear more about 3D printing used in recycling and how 3D printed parts can be reused/recycled as part of the design process.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
I think 3D printing is one of those technologies you need to get your hands on and learn by doing. Maker spaces like TechShop offer introductory classes and are a great way to start. Software like what Autodesk offers are great for learning and experimenting with design. Going to events like Girls’ Festival and Maker Faires where 3D printing experts are on hand and happy to talk about the field are really engaging. Of course keeping up with this blog and following people and companies in the space including @Wi3DP. A few more 3D feeds I follow: @3DPrintingIt, @3D_Print_News, @adskFusion360, @TJMcCue @make @womeninhardware.
If you are interested in learning more about Carrie and the Girls’ Festival, please check WorlwWideWomen’s website here. As Women in 3D Printing’s reader, we are happy to provide you with free tickets to the Girls’ Festival – Simply register here and mention Women in 3D Printing as the Organization.
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Thank you for reading and for sharing!