Godwyn Morris is the Director of two programs in New York City, Dazzling Discoveries, a STEAM education center for grade school age children and Skill Mill NYC a “maker space” facility for adults and teens. Godwyn has been working and creating with educators and children for more than 20 years. She is an advocate making, mixing, trying, testing and playing, all with the aim of teaching creative thinking and problem solving skills to kids and adults. She works with hundreds of students and teachers every year in classes, camps and professional development workshops. Her expertise is helping educators bridge the gap between teaching content and expanding hands on exploration.

Godwyn, could you let us know about your background and your journey to Additive Manufacturing?  

I have created and run several different businesses over the years, all of which incorporated the newest technology of the time.  From a software company in the late 1980s to 3D printing & laser cutting service business currently, I have always found technology trends fascinating and have been able to build businesses based on them.  At this point in my career, I can say that I am a serial entrepreneur. My first business was helping companies and nonprofit organizations publish newsletters. That business led me to consumer software development, which in the late 1980s was a technology in its infancy. I sold that in the 1990s and started a business focused on children, toys and education. That morphed into one of my current businesses, Dazzling Discoveries STEM Education Center, which I started in 2002, and then Skill Mill NYC which we opened in 2016. 

What are Dazzling Discoveries and Skill Mill NYC and what are the stories behind them? 

In 2002 I created a science and engineering program focused on hands on learning activities for children and named it Dazzling Discoveries. The terms “makerspace”, “makers” and ”STEM” were not part of anyone’s vocabulary at that point, yet that is exactly what I was doing. I was a bit ahead of the trend. I learned about, and started using, consumer friendly 3D printers and Tinkercad software as soon as they became available. Just as I had with all my other ventures, I taught myself by watching and learning from others. I was an early subscriber to Make magazine, talked to experts and bought my first 3D printers in 2014 (Makerbot Replicator 2; I have 3 of them and we are still using them today). At that point I began teaching kids and adults how to use Tinkercad and 3D printing and it is still one of the more popular activities we offer.

Dazzling Discoveries, my STEM program for kids,  is a year round day camp and after school program. In 2016 I saw the beginning of a market for digital design, 3D printing and laser cutting services for the general public so I expanded and opened Skill Mill NYC for teens and adults. In addition to all that I recently launched a product line of cardboard and paper engineering kits called Dazzlinks. 

Do you have any (fun or not) story about your career to share with us?

We won an Ultimaker 3D printer at Maker Faire a few years ago. The challenge was to design and produce a small 3D printed toy. Ultimaker sold the contestants’ toys at their booth at Maker Faire and the designer of the best selling toy received an Ultimaker printer. We were, and are still thrilled to have won that fabulous printer.

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

As the owner of my own company, people generally take me seriously. I can not say that I have experienced any overt challenges but it is possible that discrimination has gotten in the way and I don’t know about it. 

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

That is a simple question to answer. It is so appealing and interesting because the possibilities are so vast. It is empowering to have an idea and then use a few tools (software, 3D printing machine, filament) to easily turn that idea into a physical object.  In my world, working with kids and projects, it is so efficient to make a wheel or a gear or a creature or a model whenever we need it. Through our Skill Mill NYC business we have expanded to provide digital design and  production for adults from whom we see fascinating prototypes.  

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

Keep in mind that I work primarily in education and with kids and novice adults. It is so delightful to see the expression on each person’s face when they design and then print their first object.  It is a form of technology magic and it makes kids and adults so happy to see the process and physical result of their efforts. We offer Introduction to 3D printing workshops to spread the knowledge.  The more people know how 3D printing works, the more likely they will be to think of ways to use it in their lives. 

Where do you think the industry will move to in the next 10 years?

I think there will be a lot more businesses like mine; service businesses where people can go to have a part made or an idea rendered. It has been a bit of a slow growth for us because so few people understand what we do. I see more and more makerspaces opening and I am sure that trend will continue. 

What advice do you have for women looking to get started in 3D Printing?

Learn how to use 3D modeling software.

In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with Additive Manufacturing?

Highlight the fact that It is incredibly creative. It combines art, science, design and has immediate results. As the software becomes easier and easier to use, the barrier to entry will continue to shrink. 

Anything exciting coming up you’d like us to know about?

On the east coast there will be the Connecticut Maker Faire April 18-19, the Long Island Maker Faire June 6 and the USA Science Festival in Washington DC in April 23-26.  


Favorite 3D tool? Laboratory tape for the 3D printer bed

Favorite moment in your day job? The look on a child’s face when her/his digital creation becomes a physical object.

What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years? Easy to use, inexpensive multi-color printing

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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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