Kim Killoran has worked for Stratasys in Marketing for over 12 years, first as a Marketing Specialist for the Dimension 3D printing product line, then with growing responsibilities across all Stratasys products. She also served as a Marketing Events Manager for the Americas region from 2016-2018. A few highlights of Kim’s time at Stratasys include a “Capitol Hill Day” event at the Capital in Washington, D.C., a bell ringing event at the Nasdaq facility at Times Square in New York City, other worldwide events, customer projects and more.
Kim served as Secretary on the Additive Manufacturing Users Group’s Board of Directors for 5 years and is still involved today as the Chair of the Marketing Committee. She has a passion for additive manufacturing, events and connecting people within the industry.
Before joining the company, Kim worked as a marketing project manager at Wilson Learning for 6 years. She earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing, from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.
Kim, could you let us know briefly about your background and your journey into Additive Manufacturing (AM)?
I started in the AM industry in 2008 at Stratasys as a Marketing Specialist for the Dimension 3D Printer line. My role included everything from managing a trade show schedule of 50 events/year to website updates, social media, leads management and more.
What I look back on and think was really unique about my first role at Stratasys, and really helped engrain me in the technology and stoke my excitement for it, was that I was assigned to run 4 Dimension 3D printers used as demo machines for people that visited the office. In doing so, I learned things a typical marketing person might not learn. For instance, STL files, how to process them through our print software, as well as what a good STL file looked like and more. I learned how to run and maintain the printers, load and unload material, as well as how to remove the soluble support material via a wash tank. We printed all sorts of parts from marketing samples, giveaways to students, parts for schools, contests and other similar items. I learned a LOT about the printers, including how to avoid my own user error in processing and sending the print file to the printer, which the printer didn’t react well to!
Since that first position at Stratasys, I’ve had multiple roles within the company (all in marketing), including event manager, and project manager for global marketing, helping our regional marketing groups and other business units navigate through the marketing processes and structure.
What are some of the key moments in your career from spending 12 years with Stratasys?
Trade show and marketing events always have been a great love of mine (even when the freight doesn’t show up or the booth is set up wrong, or any multitude of issues that need to be problem-solved on the spot). It’s really all about the experience, the people and the bonding. So, it’s natural that most of my highlights center around events or key interactions:
We had a “Capitol Hill Day” event in Washington, D.C., October 2014. We set up a booth in one of the town hall type of meeting rooms at the capitol with two running 3D printers and a lot of parts to show.
We held a bell ringing event at the Nasdaq facility at Times Square in New York City in May of 2013.
Stratasys Global Partner Sales Meeting in 2012 where the Mojo 3D printer was first announced to partners, but not yet publicly, as well as our impending merger with Objet.
My first AMUG Conference in Costa Mesa, California, in 2012, which was the week after our partner meeting. I remember some colleagues saying we needed to get to know the people from Objet as we’d be seeing a lot more of them!
Many other worldwide events, customer video shoots, tours, and campaigns.
You’ve also spent over 7 years with AMUG. Can you share a bit about how the organization grew between then and now?
My entry into AMUG started in 2012 in Costa Mesa when Stratasys first participated and I was “volunteered” to hand out Stratasys polos, journals and more at the registration desk to approximately 300 attendees. I was also coordinating the setup of the Stratasys room and the schedule of presentations. I immediately fell in love with the comradery of the people there and the way the conference was run. Along with the networking and open sharing, as well as the community-feel and of course, all the food and beverage you could take throughout the conference.
At the 2013 AMUG Conference, based on my interest, enthusiasm and willingness to help, I was nominated during the AMUG business meeting the week of the conference, and voted onto the AMUG Board as Secretary. I felt incredibly honored and was the first woman on the board they’d had since 2006.
I served as the Secretary for 5 years, and since then, I have continued to volunteer and contribute to the AMUG organization, now as the Marketing Committee chair.
The 2012 AMUG Conference had just under 300 people in attendance. Attendance grew steadily for the next 5 years by roughly 40-50% more attendees year over year. At the 2018 AMUG Conference, there were 1,705 attendees, half of which were considered “first time attendees” to AMUG.
Since about 2016, the struggle has been how to continue to keep the comradery and community feel, but with so many more people. I admire today’s AMUG Board especially with always having the mantra of “does it benefit the attendees?” when planning the annual global conference.
To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
During the 2017 AMUG Conference, at the offsite awards event, I received a DINO (Distinguished INnovator Operator) Award, which recognizes individuals for both their contribution and years of experience with the additive manufacturing industry and technology.
Since 1998, the AMUG DINO award has only been presented to a total of 168 recipients.
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Even though prosthetics and exoskeletons are a fairly widely known application today, back in 2013, our marketing team developed an “engineering a difference” campaign and the feature story was “Emma’s Magic Arms.”
3D Printing (via FDM) was used by a research designer at Nemours Hospital to develop a customized exoskeleton for a little girl who had a disease that wouldn’t allow her to move her arms. The device was life changing for Emma and 3D printing was a big part of it.
This was a very touching story (hard not to have tears in your eyes after watching the video) that really brought a human feel to 3D printing, and the knowledge that it really can make a difference in people’s lives.
What advice do you have for women looking to get started in 3D Printing?
Do it! It’s sometimes a wild ride in this industry, and has always been very dynamic, but can also be very rewarding and is just so interesting and exciting!
In your opinion, how could we encourage more women to become involved with Additive Manufacturing?
We need to continue to encourage girls to get involved in STEM programs, and activities like robotics and design. Also, take part in educating people in general about this industry, and there are so many opportunities within it, even if engineering isn’t your thing.
Favorite 3D tool?
My K-cup holder “tree” that I found on thingiverse and printed out to use at home. (I call it a “work holding tool”)
Favorite moment in your day job?
Peaceful early mornings.
What’s on your 3D Printing wishlist for the next 5 years?
Continued materials innovation to open up more applications.