Darlene Farris LaBarDarlene Farris-LaBar is both an associate professor of art at East Stroudsburg University and an internationally known artist who makes art about the natural environment. Her creations are not only beautiful but they also serve as educational tools in order to provide awareness about the vulnerability of the environment. 

Darlene, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing?

Darlene: As a sculptor, I have always been excited about learning new techniques, materials and technologies. My past sculptures and installations have incorporated various media such as organic material, found objects, sound, video, electronic media and even light sensors. Sculpture offers artists an endless amount of media to work with. After learning about 3D printing, I saw a new possibility for expression. After researching and teaching myself 3D digital software, 3D scanning and 3D printing techniques I saw newer opportunities to extend our imagination to unknown territories.

What was your first experience with 3D Printing?

I began researching 3D printing about 5 years ago when my colleague and I were incorporating it in our Art + Design program at East Stroudsburg University. I am thrilled that my many creative students will now have 3D printing skills for their future careers. I believe that bringing 3D printing in to our curriculum will open many doors for our graduates.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

There is so much beauty in the natural world. I am greatly fascinated by how nature has engineered its endless forms and colors. Each life form posses a specific role and function that is meant to keep the natural environment thriving. When I illustrate the flowers in 3D, I become an explorer that leads me to experience the flowers with a greater perspective. The process of designing the flowers is incredibly enlightening for me. I venture into new worlds that further expand my knowledge and appreciation of the planet. The plants become other worldly and alien-like. I always feel a bit wiser at the completion of each work. It is my goal to bring awareness about the importance of each plant species to the ecosystem and preserve them for future generations.

Why using 3D printing for your creations?

I enjoy what I am able to create through digital software. It is like illustrating but in the round. In software, I am able to design amazing intricate structures from both the inside and outside portion of the flower which only a 3D printer can then replicate. Since 3D printing is ever changing with new techniques and materials, the original digital file can later be used over and over with the newer technologies that advance and develop.

Do you integrate other technologies and techniques in your work as well?

At the moment, I am researching newer technology and materials. There are very cool things developing out there. I see the upcoming technology as being more world changing than 3D printing has been for the last 5 yrs. For my most recent work, I have been using just the basics such as 3D scanners, software and then printing. I also use a wide range of digital software for each flower. I normally jump around to various design software before I finalize a design.

What do you think of the 3D printing industry today?

I think that 3D printing today isn’t really pushing the possibilities of what 3D printing can really do. I have been observing very creative people who are going beyond the conventional 3D printing. There new insights I find very fascinating.

How would like to see the 3D printing industry evolve in the future?

We will start seeing a new future with energy efficient machines and sustainable materials. I truly feel that sci-fi movies and the imaginations of early visionaries will become more our reality. I hope our future will hold more thoughtful designs and processes that have a purpose for good things in the world.

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

As a woman, I find it challenging to find the time to do research. My days are consumed by being a professor, mother, wife, and much, much more. Many of my female colleagues are also multi-tasking and taking on similar roles. With our professional and personal roles, our time, funding for researching, and creating for 3D printing is very limited. I wish there were more 3D printing funding opportunities and special research residencies in 3D printing and technology oriented for women who have busy lives and lot of responsibilities to tend to. I have spent many late nights, when my family is a sleep, when the house is quiet and there is finally have an open window of time to figure out how to use the newest technology. Having the support and extra help will not only give talented, smart and creative women opportunities to get involved in to 3D printing but, could bring the world desired innovation that only the insight and experience of a women could bring.

Also, we need to promote 3D printing technology for girls! Our culture needs to rethink how we engage girls with technology. I am looking forward to seeing more girls involved in to 3D printing so we have a more equally balanced world of makers from both genders.


If you are interested in learning more about Darlene, we invite you to visit her floral and colorful website!

And don’t forget to join the Women in 3D Printing group on LinkedIn and Facebook!

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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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