As Founder and CEO of It’s 3D Now! Fawn Medesha owns a 3D printing services organization serving local manufacturing and architectural firms in Tempe, Arizona providing quick turnaround prototypes, 3D printing, 3D scanning, customized designs and strategic consulting.
Prior to starting her company, Fawn was an IT executive at the Arizona Department of Revenue delivering predictive fraud prevention analytics and managing the PMO. Prior to ADOR, she was CIO and a member of the executive operations team at Investors Mortgage Holdings and VP of Information Services, Controller and a Corporate Officer at DMB Associates Inc.
Fawn has been President and Director of two non-profit organizations and currently oversees governance as a member of the Management Council for the National Society for Information Management (SIM). She is inspired to make a difference through STEM education and volunteers to visit schools to speak to young students to inspire them to choose a career in technology. Fawn holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from ASU and holds a PMP certification.
Fawn, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
I started my career in accounting. As computers entered business I ended up owning them, I wrote software and built networks. I had a natural affinity for technology and ended up transferring to it when I was offered the opportunity to build the Technology group by a startup I was working for. While I was at the State, I realized that government was not a good fit for me being very entrepreneurial, so I decided to start my company It’s 3D Now! I could see the impact that 3D printing would have on the world and wanted to be a part of it.
What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
My husband and I are avid Formula One (F1) race fans and F1 was an early adopter of 3D printing/additive manufacturing.
Could you explain furthermore what It’s 3D Now! is and the services that you are providing?
It’s 3D Now! is business to business 3D printing services organization specializing in quick turnaround prototypes, architectural models, scanning, design and consulting. We also give mobility to disabled humans and animals by donating 3D printed prosthetics and mobility devices to those in need.
How did you come to build the company?
As a technology executive I had to be forward thinking and research new technologies and develop strategies to apply them in new and innovative ways. When I found 3D printing I could quickly see the impact it would have on the world and I wanted to learn it right away. I had been looking for a business to start and knew 3D printing was it. We are a bootstrap startup with no external investors.
What differentiates It’s 3D Now! from 3D printing services organizations?
Our customers are local businesses. We specialize in quick turnaround times for local businesses who have a tight schedule and cannot wait the 7 days needed for larger service companies to deliver the print. We also deliver the part to your door. We offer amazing service to our customers, so we can provide mobility to those humans and animals in need. Website: www.its3dnow.com
Do you have any (fun or not) story about your career to share with us?
I have a lot of not fun stories about being a woman in construction and technology, but I want to share a fun story. The first 3D printer I bought was a Printerbot DIY kit because I learn by doing. I honestly didn’t think the printer would work when I got it finished but it did on the very first try. I learned a lot about the pitfalls of printers before investing in more expensive printers.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman entrepreneur in 3D Printing?
Being a woman in technology wasn’t new to me so I knew what I was up against. It has been a challenge to grow because of limited capital availability, but I am very patient and will invest my funds as they are available. I am pursuing a position as a director to fund the business. I am not in this business to sell my company.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Having a real estate background, I am fascinated about the future of robotic 3D printed homes and 4D printing. I think this will be very impactful on the future cost and availability of housing across the world. Growing up in Alaska, I lived through two disasters a 9.2 earthquake and a flood. 3D printed homes could quickly provide housing for disaster victims.
What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you?
- As an entrepreneur person?
The myriad of things you can make and it’s nice to be able to service multiple industries which makes it a more stable investment.
- As a woman?
It feeds both my creative and technology spirits. I can’t wait until it is feasible to print your own clothing and food.
What do you consider game-changing technologies in additive manufacturing?
I recently learned that Microsoft’s research lab is working on generating art from a text description using artificial intelligence. Imagine how close to a Star Trek replicator we could be if you could describe your next 3D print to an AI bot and it would design it and print it for you! Yes please.
What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?
I’m excited that it is moving more quickly now but the pace of change makes it hard to navigate as an entrepreneur. The process to get a design to print needs to be streamlined, we need a system to test quality and the print speeds need to be faster. I want to see it evolve to the level of the replicator on Star Trek just tell it what you want, and you get it.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
Sites like Women in 3D Printing that show role models, promote and support women in 3D. Conferences and events that demonstrate the potential of 3D printing technology, training and hands on time with a 3D printer. For kids, schools providing 3D printers to the students. The process from design to print needs to be simpler, printing needs to be faster and access to capital more available.
Thank you for reading and for sharing!