Heidi has over 23 years of experience in technical sales, marketing, and operations. Her expertise spans many different industries and commodities, although, for more than a decade now, her business development interests have remained focused on mechanical commodities and the support/emerging manufacturing technologies that accompany this particular industry. She has deep roots with many of the nation’s leading OEMs as well as within academia and the community. Her career highlights include 2016 Manufacturer Innovation Award, 2014 Ball Platinum Supplier of the Year, White House Supply Chain roundtable discussion in 2015, 2014 Floyd King Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, 2000 Datex-Omeda Sales Rep of the Year, and 1999 top-performing sales rep for Utah and Colorado. Heidi is a board member for Northern Colorado Manufacturers (NOCO). She serves on various committees and was the visionary behind what is now known today as the Adapt Center at Colorado School of Mines. She also serves as Women in 3D Printing’s Denver Ambassador.

Heidi, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?

I have been in manufacturing for 25 years and known as an innovator more than anything. About five years ago I started to really work with our customers (Ball, Woodward, and many others) to determine next steps and they all indicated that they needed someone in their supply chain to try and figure out metal 3D printing. Our tagline at Faustson is “we accept your challenge.” That said………Here we are.

What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?

The first job that we ever printed was for a tissue engineering company here in Colorado, Allosource.  I will never forget it.

You have an impressive track record of managing several companies in Colorado, from Fautson, H2 Manufacturing Solutions, ADAPT, to being Women in 3D Printing’s Denver local ambassador, as well as sitting on a few boards. Could you tell us a bit more about each of those companies and how they (eventually) connect to each other?

Faustson has been a manufacturing leader in the state and nation for over 30 years. I came on as technical sales and eventually grew to a more critical role in the company. 17 years later it was determined that many of our customers wanted to 3D print but our business model at Faustson doesn’t support design engineering, etc. Hence that led to H2 manufacturing. H2 is chartered with outreach and awareness efforts to assist those making their leap in 3D metal printing and Faustson is there to help print and secondarily process that work.  It’s a beautiful relationship we have.

I chair the Northern Colorado Manufacturing Sector partnership and that has been an honor and a privilege to lead a team that advocates for manufacturing, workforce and education providers and students. Look us up we do incredible work.

What makes Colorado so attractive for manufacturing?

We are one of the fastest growing states in the nation and just this year we took over as the aerospace state over California. As you know, 3D printing and additive manufacturing for our Aerospace partners is the perfect technology fit.

Does Colorado have any cross-projects or collaborations with other states?

Currently, Colorado has worked on an OEA (Office of Economic Adjustment) agreement with the University of Utah to bring awareness to mountain states additive.  We expect to work on the next phases with them too. The MEP system here which is a representative of NIST is very involved with manufacturing networks across the globe.

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

I haven’t run into challenges as a woman in Manufacturing, to be honest. I find it easier to work in the 3D printing realm versus traditional machining. I think because it’s a more innovative and digital audience. I love being a woman in this field. I am so happy to leverage that differentiator.

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

Oh so many but the real beauty of 3D printing is that it now opens up access to the design world. Make the impossible, possible and truly make your dreams become reality. It’s still pretty surreal to this gearhead (me).

What do you consider game-changing technologies in Additive Manufacturing?

The design capabilities, the weight reduction, the efficiencies and so much more. I abuse the GE example on the fuel nozzle: By making the choice to pursue additive technologies and 3D metal printing, they reduced the weight over 20%, the took 19 different part numbers that needed to be assembled and now print one nozzle.  I mean this is incredible!!!!!

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

  • As a business person?

As a business person, I cannot believe the possibilities that are opened up with this technology.  It addresses design trials, it addresses workforce concerns, it addresses revenues,etc. I mean sit down and look at a business plan and then ask yourself if there is any area that cannot be identified and addressed via 3d printing.  Right?

  • As a woman?

As a woman, I think I noted this above.  Being a woman doesn’t feel so noteable and that has been fun.  Along with the evolving industry, we have an evolving acceptance that seems to accompany.

What do you think of the 3D printing industry today? And how would you like to see it evolve?

We still struggle to get its acceptance. I am hopeful that we can push this over the hump and enter into a fourth industrial revolution. I predict that in five years we will see acceptance and in 10 years 60% of all manufacturing will incorporate this as a part of its portfolios. It’s not for everyone but it is for most, if time can be spent together in collaboration to really learn this technology.

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

Come out, meet us.  Talk to us, network and see if this is a community that works for you. Once you identify that then the technology benefits will disclose themselves. Wi3DP is a great community and growing and you are going to want to surround yourself with a community such as this one. Be on the cutting edge of a 4th industrial revolution. This isn’t just technology that’s happening.  It’s history in the making!!!! Come make history with us.

Favorite 3D tool (could be a software, machine, material…you name it)? Magics is magic

Favorite moment in your day job? people

Another inspiring woman you’d like us to interview? Debra Wilcox

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