Gesa, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Previous to 3D Printing, I worked several years as a brand coach for Adidas and collected some experiences in the best practice and technology company CEB that has been acquired by Gartner. My interest for 3D printing developed after I have learned what possibilities are behind this technology: Especially when it comes to design, it creates completely new opportunities and goes behind the conventional growth of productivity as it is about producing better and smarter products. As I wanted to become part of driving this development forward, I decided to join the large-scale 3D printing startup BigRep at the beginning of 2016.
What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
The first experience was a 3D print of a vase. I had to realize that the technology still is very slow but was amazed about creating and printing my very own product in my favorite color and material.
Could you explain furthermore what BigRep is and the products that you are providing?
BigRep is a largescale 3D printing company. With its 1m3 volume, the BigRep ONE opens the gateway to a new dimension of 3D printing and 3D manufacturing, while the BigRep Studio allows fast and precise large-scale 3D printing. At the last Formnext, the BigRep Pro was launched, a machine for industrial solutions. Whether it’s functional prototypes, composite tooling or end-user products, the PRO delivers, with a range of new features, including a Bosch CNC system, new Metering Extruder Technology that increases printing speed.
Who are the customers you’re selling the equipment to? And what are they usually manufacturing with your machines?
Customers are industrial companies, universities and architects/artists. Industrial companies are using our 3D printers mainly for prototyping. Universities for research projects or end applications like student motorsport cars. Architect/artists are using the printers to bring their own ideas/project to live, as our 3D printers remove the barriers for innovation.
To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
My biggest achievement is that I contributing strongly and consistently to the success and the massive growth of BigRep. By achieving and overachieving my sales goals and establishing the reseller network, I helped the organization to develop from a young startup to becoming an industrial player in the additive manufacturing industry.
Do you have any (fun or not) story about the company or your career to share with us?
Yes. I once sold a printer in a very fast sales process to a senior executive of a robotics company. It turned out that in his second job he is a famous musician. After the order, he realized that the BigRep One is too big for his facility as it comes in one part. We made a special deal: Our engineers stayed longer for disassembling and assembling the printer (without any extra costs) and he promised to do a marketing video with us where he sings about our products.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman in 3D Printing?
Not really, only in very rare cases, it seems that I have to prove my credibility a bit more compared to a male colleague.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Individualized and affordable prothesis in developing countries. Especially “Enabling the future” is a great initiative as it connects people with 3D printers with people in need of prosthesis.
What do you consider game-changing technologies in Additive Manufacturing?
A further development of biopolymers as it helps to transform the global manufacturing industry towards a more sustainable way of production. Besides that, faster extruders and a bigger selection of materials.
What makes the 3D printing industry particularly interesting for you:
- As a business person?
The massive growth rate and possibilities in 3d printing.
- As a woman?
Bringing in the female strengths and capabilities in a male dominated industry and helping the full sector to grow by enabling better decisions.
What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?
A lot of new developments, but also a lot of hype. Still a lot of barriers, like printing Speed and limited materials.
I would like to see the shift towards a longer product development cycle with the goals of more reliable products. Saving some of the marketing expenses and using it for product development. Besides that, it should be made use of better collaboration between companies, customers and research organizations regarding materials and the development of new products.
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with 3D Printing?
A good way is to host meetups (you do that already). Another way is doing workshops in schools and universities. Getting involved is one of the best ways to get motivated.
Favorite 3D tool (could be a software, machine, material…you name it)? Shapediver and Simplify 3D.
Favorite moment in your day job? Delivering value to customers and partners
What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years? New developments in speed, materials and the shift towards more reliable products.